WaPo's "fake news" propaganda campaign

Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say
by Craig Timeberg
Washington Post, 2016-11-24

For an example of the real "fake news" problem in the instance of
reporting on the current situation in Syria and the siege of Aleppo, see
this report by former senior DIA MidEast analyst Patrick Lang.

Here are some web pages which discuss, and dissect, the WaPo article:

Washington Post Promotes Shadowy Website That Accuses 200 Pulications Of Being Russian Propaganda Plants
by Max Blumenthal
Alternet.com, 2016-11-25

Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group
by Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald
The Intercept, 2016-11-26

The 'Washington Post' 'Blacklist' Story Is Shameful and Disgusting
The capital's paper of record crashes legacy media on an iceberg
by Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone, 2016-11-28


Forget also that the group offered zero concrete evidence
of coordination with Russian intelligence agencies,
even offering this remarkable disclaimer about its analytic methods:

"Please note that our criteria are behavioral. ...
For purposes of this definition it does not matter ...
whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point:
If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as
bona-fide 'useful idiots' of the Russian intelligence services,
and are worthy of further scrutiny."


The CIA and the Press:
When the Washington Post Ran the CIA’s Propaganda Network

by Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Counterpunch, 2016-11-30

[Its first three paragraphs:]

Last week, the Washington Post published a scurrilous piece
by a heretofore obscure technology reporter named Craig Timberg,
alleging without the faintest evidence that
Russian intelligence was using more than 200 independent news sites
to pump out pro-Putin and anti-Clinton propaganda during the election campaign.

Under the breathless headline,
“Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,”
Timberg concocted his story based on allegations from a vaporous group called ProporNot,
run by nameless individuals of unknown origin,
whom Timberg (cribbing from the Bob Woodward stylesheet) agreed to quote as anonymous sources.

[Think about that.
Why would such allegations come from anonymous sources?
Why would the people making those accusations not be willing to be identified?
Smells to high heaven to me.]

ProporNot’s catalogue of supposed Putin-controlled outlets reeks of the McCarthyite smears of the Red Scare era.
The blacklist includes some of the most esteemed alternative news sites on the web,
including Anti-war.com, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism, Consortium News, Truthout, Lew Rockwell.com, Global Research, Unz.com, Zero Hedge and, yes, CounterPunch,
among many others. I’ll have more on Timberg and ProporNot in my Friday column.

[An observation by KHarbaugh:
I followed antiwar.com rather closely during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq,
and during the early stages of that misguided occupation.
The reports and forecasts from antiwar.com were far more accurate in describing the likely chain of events in Iraq
than anything those rotten stooges of Israel
(yes, you read that right),
the fucking Zionist propaganda operation at the Washington Post,
ever put out.
Fuck them.]

Timberg’s Tale:
Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites

by Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Counterpunch, 2016-12-02

Truthdiggers of the Week:
Journalists Who Ripped Washington Post, PropOrNot for McCarthyite Hogwash

By Natasha Hakimi
Truthdig, 2016-12-03


Joshua Frank, co-editor of “CounterPunch,” another left-leaning site named on the blacklist, details a revealing email exchange with PropOrNot:

In further emails, I explained to the group that there were many other media outlets that were not tools of Russian propaganda; Truthout, Truthdig, BlackAgendaReport, Antiwar.com, among others. Here is their reply:

“If Truthout, Truthdig, Antiwar, BlackAgendaReport, etc, were to reach out to us like you did, things might well end up playing out very similarly to how this one has! We’ve asked people to do that on our site. Several have. Others have not.”

And then this gem:

“If someone contacts us and the resulting conversation makes clear that they understand, for example, how Putin’s Russia is a revisionist authoritarian wannabe-imperialist kleptocracy that uses ‘fake news’ as online propaganda, then we have a lot of common ground. That factors into our understanding of the merits, but more importantly, becomes a basis for constructive movement forward.”

Huh? That isn’t very sound methodology if you ask me, more like a shallow smear campaign manufactured by amateurs. PropOrNot will consider taking these sites off their blacklist, not based on the sites’ content but on whether or not they contacted PropOrNot directly and if “they understand” Putin is a bad hombre? The group lists these aforementioned sites right along RT and Sputnik News, both of which are openly funded by the Russian government and provide a point of view that’s in line with the Kremlin. It’s clearly a case of guilt by association.