Washington Post Promotes Shadowy Website That Accuses 200 Publications of Being Russian Propaganda Plants

Yves here. As indicated in Links, we’ll have more to say about this in due course. Note, however, that as Blumenthal points out, some of the sites that are listed as PropOrNot allies receive US government funding. As Mark Ames pointed out via e-mail, “The law is still clear that US State Dept money and probably BBG money cannot be used to propagandize American audiences.” So if these sites really are “allies” in terms of providing hard dollars or other forms of support (shared staff, research), this site and its allies may be in violation of US statutes.

By Max Blumenthal, a senior editor of the Grayzone Project at AlterNet, and the award-winning author of Goliath and Republican Gomorrah. His most recent book is The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza. Follow him on Twitter at @MaxBlumenthal. Originally published at Alternet

shady website that claims “Russia is Manipulating US Opinion Through Online Propaganda” has compiled a blacklist of websites its anonymous authors accuse of pushing fake news and Russian propaganda. The blacklist includes over 200 outlets, from the right-wing Drudge Report and Russian government-funded Russia Today, to Wikileaks and an array of marginal conspiracy and far-right sites. The blacklist also includes some of the flagship publications of the progressive left, including Truthdig, Counterpunch, Truthout, Naked Capitalism, and the Black Agenda Report, a leftist African-American opinion hub that is critical of the liberal black political establishment.

Called PropOrNot, the blacklisting organization was described by the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” The Washington Post agreed to preserve the anonymity of the group’s director on the grounds that exposure could result in their being targeted by “Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.” The Post failed to explain what methods PropOrNot relied on to conclude that “stories planted or promoted by the Russian disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.” (Timberg also cited a report co-authored by Aaron Weisburg, founder of the one-man anti-Palestinian “Internet Haganah” operation, who has been accused of interfering in federal investigations, stealing the personal information of anarchists, online harassment, and fabricating information to smear his targets.)

Despite the Washington Post’s charitable description of PropOrNot as a group of independent-minded researchers dedicated to protecting the integrity of American democracy, the shadowy group bears many of the qualities of the red enemies it claims to be battling. In addition to its blacklist of Russian dupes, it lists a collection of outlets funded by the U.S. State Department, NATO and assorted tech and weapons companies as “allies.” PropOrNot’s methodology is so shabby it is able to peg widely read outlets like Naked Capitalism, a leading left-wing financial news blog, as Russian propaganda operations.

Though the supposed experts behind PropOrNot remain unknown, the site has been granted a veneer of credibility thanks to the Washington Post, and journalists from the New York Times, including deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weissman to former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer, are hailing Timberg’s story as Pulitzer-level journalism. “Russia appears to have successfully hacked American democracy,” declared Sahil Kapur, the senior political reporter for Bloomberg. The dead-enders of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president have also seized on PropOrNot’s claims as proof that the election was rigged, with Clinton confidant and Center For American Progress president Neera Tanden declaring, “Wake up people,” as she blasted out the Washington Post article on Russian black ops.

PropOrNot’s malicious agenda is clearly spelled out on its website. While denying McCarthyite intentions, the group is openly attempting to compel “formal investigations by the U.S. government, because the kind of folks who make propaganda for brutal authoritarian oligarchies are often involved in a wide range of bad business.” The group also seeks to brand major progressive politics sites (and a number of prominent right-wing opinion outlets) as “‘gray’ fake-media propaganda outlets” influenced or directly operated by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). It can then compel Facebook and Google to ban them, denying them the ad revenue they rely on to survive.

Though PropOrNot’s hidden authors claim, “we do not reach our conclusions lightly,” the group’s methodology leaves more than enough room to smear an outlet on political grounds. Among the criteria PropOrNot identifies as clear signs of Russian propaganda are, “Support for policies like Brexit, and the breakup of the EU and Eurozone” and, “Opposition to Ukrainian resistance to Russia and Syrian resistance to Assad.”

By these standards, any outlet that raises the alarm about the considerable presence of extreme right-wing elements among the post-Maidan Ukrainian government or that questions the Western- and Saudi-funded campaign for regime change in Syria can be designated a Russia dupe or a paid agent of the FSB. Indeed, while admitting that they have no idea whether any of the outlets they blacklisted are being paid by Russian intelligence or are even aware they are spreading Russian propaganda, PropOrNot’s authors concluded that any outlets that have met their highly politicized criteria “have effectively become tools of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further investigation.”

Among the most ironic characteristics of PropOrNot is its claim to be defending journalistic integrity, a rigorous adherence to the facts, and most of all, a sense of political levity. In fact, the group’s own literature reflects a deeply paranoid view of Russia and the outside world. According to PropOrNot’s website, Russia is staging a hostile takeover of America’s alternative online media environment “in order to Make Russia Great Again (as a new ‘Eurasian’ empire stretching from Dublin to Vladisvostok), on the other. That means preserving Russian allies like Bashar al-Assad in Syria, breaking up the ‘globalist’ EU, NATO, and US-aligned trade and defense organizations, and getting countries to join ‘Eurasianist’ Russian equivalents… Or else.”

The message is clear: Stamp out the websites blacklisted by PropOrNot,or submit to the malevolent influence of Putin’s “new global empire.”

Among the websites listed by PropOrNot as “allies” are a number of groups funded by the U.S. government or NATO. They include InterpreterMag, an anti-Russian media monitoring blog funded through Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, an arm of the U.S. government, which is edited by the hardline neoconservative Michael Weiss. Polygraph Fact Check, another project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty aimed at Russian misinformation, is listed as an “ally.” So is Bellingcat, the crowdsourced military analysis blog run by Elliot Higgins through the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the U.S. State Department, various Gulf monarchies and the weapons industry. (Bellingcat is directly funded by Google, according to Higgins.)

Unfortunately for PropOrNot’s mysterious authors, an alliance requires the consent of all parties involved. Alerted to his designation on the website, Bellingcat’s Higgins immediately disavowed it: “Just want to note I hadn’t heard of Propornot before the WP piece and never gave permission to them to call Bellingcat ‘allies,'” he wrote.

As scrutiny of PropOrNot increases, its credibility is rapidly unraveling. But that has not stopped Beltway media wiseguys and Democratic political operatives from hyping its claims. Fake news and Russian propaganda have become the great post-election moral panic, a creeping Sharia-style conspiracy theory for shell-shocked liberals. Hoping to punish the dark foreign forces they blame for rigging the election, many of these insiders have latched onto a McCarthyite campaign that calls for government investigations of a wide array of alternative media outlets. In this case, the medicine might be worse than the disease.

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  1. Daryl

    The PropOrNot domain was registered on August 21st. It’s hosted on Blogger.

    Seems pretty legit to me.

    1. voxhumana

      Daryl… your comment below makes me wonder if I misread this first one…. perhaps by “legit” you mean to say that propornot does not appear to be a hoax site aiming for onionesque snark. In that regard it does seem “legit” despite its preposterous raison d’etre.

      BTW – Daryl and his other brother Daryl were my favorite characters on Newhart… for what it’s worth….

      1. Daryl

        What I meant by my sarcastic remark is that there seems to be absolutely no reason to trust anything it says, from its content, to the fact that it was created about three months ago when the Red baiting was already in full swing in the media.

  2. Skip Intro

    Congratulations! That site is like a who’s who of influential critical reporting. I suspect, as with so many of the bubble-dwellers attempts, that this slapdash but probably overpriced effort will drive traffic to those sites while reducing the credibility of its promoters. An instant classic own-goal. I look forward to the inevitable and embarassing revelations about their founders and funding.

    1. jrs

      The full list was a mix of really good sites and the unknown personal blogs of some whack-a -doodles producing “content” of little value. I see the list linked to is smaller.

      “Collectively, this propaganda is undermining our public discourse by providing a warped view of the world, where Russia can do no wrong, and America is a corrupt dystopia that is tearing itself apart.”

      Meanwhile publicans even they would deem credible like the L.A. times report there are 63,000 homeless youths in los angeles. Corrupt dystopia? No it can not be.

      “It is vital that this effort be exposed for what it is: A coordinated attempt to deceive U.S. citizens into acting in Russia’s interests.”

      look idiots, the truth as I understand it is neither Russian interest NOR US government interests are necessarily in my interest

    2. Rick

      Ditto !!! Talk about shooting your own foot WOW ! Now I have more sites to surf for news sources Looks like wapoo’s writers meds have expired on their medicine shelf and now they are clueless on what is happening Thank You ! Has anyone ever explained the fable about a boy and the crying of wolf to them ???

    1. wheresOurTeddy

      So much kvetching pre-nov 8 about Trump not accepting results of election.

      Because what kind of person would do that?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No defeat, no soul-searching.

      So far, she is still undefeated, and the dying working class votes have not repudiated her yet.

      “Let’s not be premature.”

    3. XFR

      Dismissing this as the work of sore losers is foolhardy. This is the very worst possible time to become complacent.

      A lot of very powerful interests don’t like the result of this election. Nothing is more dangerous than a cornered beast. I wouldn’t put it past them to try something very stupid.

      Someone needs to organize a counter-campaign in support of the faithful electors, and they need to do it NOW.

  3. AnonymousCounsel

    I am an attorney.

    I am not soliciting or advising any entity or person, but those identified by PropOrNot, including Naked Capitalism, should consult competent legal counsel, having appropriate and specific experience regarding defamation law (maybe even in a “pooled,” co-ordinated effort with others’ among the over 200 entities named by PropOrNot) to seek a legal opinion as to whether there exists a viable defamation claim against The Washington Post, and also, via Weisburg, The New York Times, as both publications repeated potentially defamatory claims made by PropOrNot.

    Under general tenets of defamation law (statutory and in common law), it is not just the original entity or person defaming (including defamation “per se”) another that is liable for such torts, but others who carelessly or recklessly repeat the original defamatory statements/claims (in this case, both The Washington Post & New York Times bear similar potential liability as PropOrNot).

    1. hunkerdown

      Understanding the distinction between an attorney, and *my* attorney, and as a matter of general interest, I am curious: What about individual posters in their capacities as employees, contractors, or just rabble?

    2. Romancing The Loan

      Requires actual malice since it’s the media you’re suing – but that can be proven by reckless indifference to the truth which this might actually meet the standard of, especially since the site isn’t making this claim based on anything other than the content of the views espoused by the sites. /also an attorney but the wrong specialty. I’d be pleased to help if I can though – all of the sites I read regularly are on the list and whoever’s propaganda op the site is the whole concept of what it represents scares the pants off me.

      1. pretzelattack

        i vaguely thought the actual malice requirement was tied to the target being a public figure; maybe running a blog qualifies.

        1. Romancing The Loan

          All private individual gets you is compensatory damages – and everyone’s readership and donations have increased.

          “We hold that, so long as they do not impose liability without fault, the States may define for themselves the appropriate standard of liability for a publisher or broadcaster of defamatory falsehood injurious to a private individual… But this countervailing state interest extends no further than compensation for actual injury. For the reasons stated below, we hold that the States may not permit recovery of presumed or punitive damages, at least when liability is not based on a showing of knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth.”

          Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 347-349 (1974).

          Propornot is directly accusing NC and the rest of a crime (espionage), which constitutes defamation per se, so I think the only issue before the court would be whether it was done with reckless indifference.

          Seriously, Yves, please feel free to contact me offlist – I would be delighted to pro bono the heck out of this including at the direction of whoever you hire.

          1. pretzelattack

            thanks for enlightening me. it’s such an obvious smear, and the post as far as i can see didn’t vet the organization or its claims at all.

  4. flora

    The MSM did such a fine job reporting the news during the campaign. (16 anti-Sanders stories in 16 hours from the WaPo. A new record.) Are small news/opinion sites cutting into their online advertising revenue. ;)

  5. James

    I like you and your blog, but I’m almost positive your site has been guilty of accidently publishing Russian propaganda at some point. You’ve probably linked to stories that sound legit but can be traced all the way back to some Russian operation like RT, even though the third party source you got the story from seemed ok.

    The creator of the app never said all the sites on the list knowingly did it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      First the fact that a story appeared on RT does not make it propaganda. We featured videos from Ed Harrison on the RT program Boom/Bust, which is about the US economy and has featured respected US and foreign academics, like Steve Keen. What Steve Keen has to say is not suddenly propaganda by virtue of appearing on RT. If you read Eddy Bernay’s book Propaganda, he defines it as an entity or cause promoting its case. Thus when a news organization that is government-affiliated, like Voice of America or RT, presents a news story that is straight up reporting, that does not qualify as propaganda either (like “Marine Le Pen Gains in French Polls”). In fact, for a government site to be seen as credible when it does present propaganda, it has to do a fair bit of reasonably unbiased reporting.

      Second, had you bothered to read the actual PropOrNot site, it accuses all of the sites listed as being “propaganda outlets” under the influence of “coordinators abroad” (#11 in its FAQ). Several individuals on Twitter called this out as libel with respect to NC. And under #7, PropOrNot asserts that “some” of the sites are guilty of violating the Espionage Act and the Foreign Agent Registration Act, as in accusing them of being spies and calling for investigation (by implication of all, since how do you know which is or isn’t) by the FBI and DoJ.

      And you defend this witch hunt? Seriously? Do you have any idea of what propaganda consists of? Hint: it is not reporting accurately and skeptically.

      1. John

        Their MSM propaganda isn’t working and they see it. They already heavily censor comments on their MSM sites. Other MSM sights such as Bloomberg closed down comments altogether. Expect more of that.

        And they will take every measure to close down any other independent sites people have turned to get some truth which millions of us know we aren’t getting from the MSM.

        Those of us who have a grasp on what is going on in this country will find #7 is very disturbing.
        As it tells us what they have in mind to discredit and close down independent sites.

      2. James

        As you know, propaganda doesn’t have to false. It can be more about selectively reporting certain facts or emphasizing certain facts over others to smear your target and mislead people. Steve Keen is great, and I love his work, but it’s also obvious that RT invites him on the network because he lambasts the American political establishment and weakens the public’s confidence in its leaders. This is clearly a goal of Moscow, and they use people like Steve Keen to do it. I’m sure Steven Keen doesn’t think of his role that way, but RT and Russian intelligence certainly do.

        And the site clearly states that some sites are knowingly coordinating with Russian agents (like RT) and some are likely unaware that they are being influenced. They likely think NC falls into the unaware category.

        I think they should be more specific as to what sites they believe fall into the ‘knowingly’ and ‘unknowingly’ categories, but I also don’t believe the app is an entirely crazy idea. Russia is aggressively trying to influence American politics as we saw in the most recent US election and coming up with a response is a good idea even if this particular one should be improved.

        1. Pat

          Um, James what weakens people’s confidence in their leaders is their not addressing people’s issues and lying about their inability to do so. Despite protestations from the likes of much of our ‘intelligentsia’, mainstream media, and most of our political class, the majority of people are not stupid. There is a reason why terms like ‘lame stream media’ resonate with a large number of people.

          For instance when Obama is out there talking about a recovery and people know that there is no such thing in their lives, their communities then HE has lost their confidence – not someone giving an interview on RT.

          Or to put it another way the problem isn’t someone going on RT and saying the emperor isn’t wearing clothes, the problem is that the emperor isn’t wearing clothes. Pretending not to notice doesn’t mean that no one has noticed. Considering the Washington/NY/California bubble, most people probably have and have been screaming at their television that he needs to get dressed.

        2. pretzelattack

          what did we see in “the most recent election”? what is your evidence that russia is “aggressively trying to influence american politics?”

          Steve Keen is great, and I love his work, but it’s also obvious that RT invites him on the network because he lambasts the American political establishment and weakens the public’s confidence in its leaders. This is clearly a goal of Moscow, and they use people like Steve Keen to do it. I’m sure Steven Keen doesn’t think of his role that way, but RT and Russian intelligence certainly do.

          how do you know any of this? how would you know would russian intelligence’s goals are, or how they think of steve keen? this is all just mccarthyism 2016, accusing the left of being dupes or willing agents of russia. mccarthy had his 200 communists in the state department, this website and the washington post have their 200 russian proganda websites. why are you catapulting this bullshit?


          1. ChrisPacific

            Well put. I could equally well argue that it’s in Russia’s interests that American leadership not be questioned, if it’s following policies that are clearly stupid and likely to weaken America’s position in the world. So the PropOrNot site might actually be a double blind backed by Russia, using fear of Russian influence to manipulate people into uncritical acceptance of their leaders and prevent questioning of poor decisions, thereby weakening America. (ALERT: If it’s not obvious to readers, this is sarcasm).

            If your methodology is gazing into the tea leaves to figure out what Russia’s position is, then smearing anybody that advocates a similar position, then that’s such a ridiculously flimsy veneer of logic that it can be used to reach pretty much any conclusion you like (as my example above demonstrates). Tell me again who is guilty of propaganda in this scenario?

            1. pretzelattack

              i suppose they still haven’t provided any evidence whatsoever. just like you. what 17 agencies? what evidence are they relying on? why does obama say the election was not fixed by russia, that there was no ramping up of cyber attacks?

              you could be working for david brock at correct the record. the way you blindly accept the talking points of the clinton campaign indicates that. you just keep repeating them, and don’t respond to the criticisms of propornot as a source, or the reporter who uncritically accepted their little mccarthyite hit list. linking to a usa today article that blindly repeats the same talking points, again sans evidence, does not support your argument.

              1. James

                I was not claiming Russia fixed the election results. I was referring to the email hacking directed at the Clinton camp during the election campaign.

                And my claim that Russia was likely involved in the email hacking is backed up by 17 intelligence agencies and reporting from various independent news outlets. If you had bothered to read the article, which you apparently didn’t, you would know that the 17 agencies are the ‘Office of the Director of National Intelligence’ plus the 16 agencies listed in the link available in the article I provided.

                Here is the link in question: https://www.dni.gov/index.php/intelligence-community/members-of-the-ic

                If USA Today reporting is not credible to you but Russia Today’s reporting is, then I’m afraid your trust of Kremlin created propaganda outlets over independent news outlets only underscores my point that Russian information warfare has been very successful at influencing and shaping parts of American public opinion.

                I also don’t think US intelligence agencies would make this accusation publicly if they were not confident. They could have just as easily made this accusation against China but have not because it doesn’t fit China’s MO. Russia has engaged in similar types of email hacking operations in former Eastern European countries it has been seeking to control and influence.

                And comparing an app to McCarthyism is absurd. McCarthysim was the state targeting individuals and organizations. This is private citizens compiling a list by their own accord, which they are free to do.

                When a left wing blog makes a list of the top ten most right-wing and GOP influenced websites, are they also engaging in ‘McCarthism’? Is the left engaging in ‘McCarthyism’ when it accuses Fox News of being GOP influenced propaganda? C’mon.

                Regardless, I am done with this conversation for now. You can think what you want.

                1. Pat

                  James do you happen to remember when those intelligence agencies reported Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.? How about when North Korea hacked Sony? Both of which were inaccurate and dare I say it propaganda intended to mislead the American public.

                  Short of watching the hacking in real time there is no way those agencies would have been able to trace any competent hacker.So here are some very serious questions for you. Do you think the Russians hire script kiddies? Why does Naval Intelligence have anything to do with this investigation? Same with at least half of those agencies? Why were 17 agencies watching the DNC? Don’t they have anything better to do,like figuring out who hacked the State Department, the IRS and Social Security?
                  The immediate claims that Russia hacked the DNC were never credible to any one with even a bit of knowledge about high level hacking. The 17 agency thing was outright laughable once you asked the simple question of what most of them had to do with this investigation. And USA Today was and is the print equivalent of the Yahoo front page.
                  You say you are done, but I sincerely hope so e of what was said here percolates in your thoughts. Most of us here understand propaganda, misinformation, and yes confirmation bias. You seem to need to learn to look critically at your usual sources as well as those you have warned about.

                  1. James

                    Being wrong about something in the past doesn’t mean you are always wrong. In fact, the CIA and FBI have been on the money about countless things in the past, but I’m sure you know this and are just trying to deflect. And it’s not true that NK being involved in the Sony hack has been debunked. Opinion is mixed among independent security analysts. Look it up.

                    And I think you should take your own advice as far as confirmation bias and understanding propaganda are concerned. Nobody who relies on FSB cut outs like RT for information and analysis has room to talk about their intelligence and critical thinking. NC and other alternative ‘anti-establishment’ news sources you consume are full of their own bias. You should wander out of the alt-left echo chamber once in a while and stop thinking that any criticism of Russia is ‘red-baiting’ and propaganda. Mr. Putin isn’t a damsel in distress that needs your defending.

                    1. pretzelattack

                      oh so now you’re an intelligence expert, but somehow you still don’t have any evidence, because the “17 intelligence agencies” don’t have any evidence either. they didn’t have evidence of wmd’s but i bet you fell for that, too.
                      i think the most dishonest line in your post is this:

                      You should wander out of the alt-left echo chamber once in a while and stop thinking that any criticism of Russia is ‘red-baiting’ and propaganda

                      while you’re searching for evidence to back up the rancid propaganda exposed by glenn greenwald’s article in the intercept, you can look for one single post expressing this conviction. just one.

                      after all the lies by our intelligence agencies, using the same methods as this smear, to uncritically accept anonymous quotes betrays either a great naivete or intellectual dishonesty.

            2. WhiteyLockmandoubled

              Heavens! The US intelligence “community” tell a lie?

              Never Happen!

              Exaggerate the Russian Threat?

              Never Happen!

              Run a smear campaign to discredit progressive bloggers who criticize US foreign policy?

              Never Happen!

              Yes. All 17 intelligence agencies not only could be “wrong.” They could actually be “lying.” Or some could be lying and others who aren’t assigning assets to the issue could just go along and be “wrong.” Or they might even be right, although having produced only assertion, not evidence to date, Americans can be forgiven a touch of skepticism.

              What is so toxic about this, and what makes you either so stupid or so dishonest is that propornot’s methods are so stupefyingly familiar.

              1. Take the propaganda and spying behavior of a foreign government, real, imagined, fabricated or some mixture of all three.
              2. Identify Americans who disagree with US policy toward that government.
              3. Assert that because some Americans are critical of US policy toward that government, and some of their criticisms may be similar to the public positions of that foreign government, the American critics are either a. willing agents of that foreign government, or b. unwitting dupes of the propaganda operations of that foreign government.
              4. Launch investigations to determine the motivations of the spies/dupes.
              5. Ensure that supporters of US policy toward said foreign government attack the patriotism of the spies/dupes.
              6. Completely ignore all criticism of US policy toward said foreign government by refusing even to engage the substance of the criticism because doing so validates unpatriotic espionage/dupeism.
              7. Maintain US policy toward said foreign government no matter how foolish, bloody or expensive.
              8. Rinse.
              9. Repeat

              No doubt the Russians are engaged in intelligence operations against the US. On the other hand, the failure of US intelligence services to produce anything other than unsupported assertion that the Russians hacked the DNC should give Americans and other interested parties a little pause. No doubt they will say they can’t produce actual evidence because they have to protect sources and methods, but that’s bullshit. Whenever we want to go to war, we use supposedly classified photo reconnaissance to bamboozle the world (cf first “Never Happen!” above), and the outlines of the operations that would capture the evidence are publicly known anyway (cf Snowden).

              Reporting on US poliicy toward Russia and the Syrian Civil War is not channeling Russian propaganda. Saying “the poliicy of the United States government in Syria is to support al-Qaeda against the Assad government,” isn’t Russian propaganda. It’s true. It may be that the Assad regime is so awful that it justifies such a policy. Fine. But that policy should not be beyond actual public debate. Placing it beyond debate so that US policymakers, especially, but not exclusively, Democrats, don’t have to answer uncomfortable questions about it is the purpose of the hateful, cowardly bullshit that you see at propornot.

            3. DarkMatters

              Perhaps some evidence.

              First the count: A statement from Clapper alone would bring his 16 agencies into the mix, so those should be regarded as a single source, not necessarily 16 independent concurring opinions.

              Second, here’s the actual accusation, from https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/10/07/joint-statement-department-homeland-security-and-office-director-national

              “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. ”

              So a couple of agencies are “confident”, the only basis given being an un-named “consistency” of method. Equivalently phrased as, it’s not inconsistent that Russia might be responsible, simply exposes this as a statement of possibility. Are the methods also consistent with those of a group of sophisticated high-school hackers in Germany? Or another state actor like China?

              More recently, Clapper in his resignation speech said that Russia was likely involved, but again gave little evidence. And Clapper also said that he really had no insight into how Wikileaks got the emails.

              The possibility that Clapper’s allegations were political theater can’t be ruled out: he had opportunity and means, and given the corruption endemic to the current regime, and use of these accusations during the election, presuming a political motive really isn’t much of a reach. Especially coming from someone who perjured himself previously before Congress.

            4. JTFaraday

              “You can say this negative view justified but that doesn’t negate the fact that Russia wants to amplify that discontent as much as possible.”

              We’re going to be in a heck of a mess if we can’t criticize our own ostensibly democratic government (or, republican, if some prefer) just because “Russia” might share one negative view or another.

        3. David Lamy

          Gee, if only there were some North American country that would try to influence foreign elections, for example say Russian or Ukrainian ones.
          But let me extend James’s thought above by advocating for our leaders to obtain public encryption keys so that we may send our grievances privately without enabling any foreign interference. Won’t that just invigorate our democracy?

        4. OIFVet

          If Russia is actively trying to influence American politics, then they have been far more effective than the US and get a much bigger bang for their buck. For one thing, they didn’t have to drop a single bomb to effect a regime change. So assuming you are correct, the noise is just a hysterical regime change envy.

          So are RT and Sputnik propaganda outlets? Sometimes they are, but sometimes they report the truth that our MSM, having given up the last shreds of their journalistic integtity in return for access, won’t report. Given the widespread funding of media (including government-owned media) by Western governments, I would say that US and Euro hysteria about Russian propaganda, real and imagined, is yet another off-putting display of noxious American exceptionalism. I grew up listening to broadcasts of RFE and VOA behind the Iron Curtain, and mixed in with honest reporting was a heavy dose of propaganda aimed at weakening Eastern European governments. Now, it is the America For Bulgaria Foundation that funds several media outlets in the country. What they all have in common is rabid Russophobia-driven editorial stances, and one can easily conclude that it is driven by the almighty dollar rather than by honest, deeply held convictions. So, America can do it but whines like a toddler when it is allegedly done to it?! What a crock.

          The worst thing is that regardless of whatever propaganda wars are going on, this list constitutes a full frontal attack on free speech in the alleged “Land of the Free.” Besides NC, there are number of sites distinguished by thorough, quality reporting of the kind that WaPo and NYT no longer engage in. Having grown up behind the Iron Curtain, this is chilling to me. Dissident voices speaking against the endless wars for profit and neoliberalism are in effect being intimidated and smeared by anonymous thugs. This, while the militarized local police and federal agencies, closely coordinated by “fusion centers”, have ruthlessly put down a number of citizen protests, have engaged in spying on all of us, and have gone after whistleblowers for exposing the reach and scope of the surveillance state. These are the hallmarks of dictatorships, not of the alleged “world’s greatest democracy and beacon of freedom.” What the eff happened to America, and why are you equating challenging the oppressive and exploitative status quo with being “unwitting Russian dupes?” Seems to me that the useful idi0t here is you, with all due respect.

        5. Glen

          American intelligence uses exactly the same tactics, and has since at least WW1. Selling the American public on the Iraq war is a classic example. Remember that all news is biased, some much more so than others (we report, you decide.)

          The advent of the internet and the subsequent broadening of readily available news of all slants has made it much harder for any intelligence agency of any specific country to control the news( but it has made it extremely easy for them to monitor what we are reading).

          Naked capitalism uses a wide variety of sources, and obviously has no coordination with any intelligence agency. The normal tell for this is being state sponsored, or having a big sugar daddy providing the funding, and Yves doesn’t have any of that.

          As always, it’s up to the reader to use their critical thinking skills and form their own opinions.

        6. Atalanta69

          Some of us happen to believe that ‘lambast[ing] the American political establishment and weaken[ing] the public’s confidence in its leaders’ is in the best interests of everyone on the planet, including the American public. If that constitutes propaganda, I’m not about to look that gift horse in the mouth. RT isn’t perfect – I personally find their relentless cheerleading for economic growth rather wearying – but it knocks spots off the competition and consistently sends me scurrying to the internet to chase up on new faces and leads. I’m grateful for that.

        7. FluffytheObeseCat

          Steve Keen is great, and I love his work, but it’s also obvious

          Damning with faint praise. A dainty smear tactic noted as such since the days of…….. Shakespeare.

          It is obvious that Russia has been trying to influence American politics. The very existence of RT makes that obvious. What is not obvious is why modestly left-of-center Americans’ political concerns should be subject to McCarthyite attacks in our most influential news outlets. We’ve been subject to internally generated far-right propaganda for decades now and have seen minimal, feeble ‘mainstream’ efforts to counter it. The far right has done tremendous damage to our nation and is poised to do much more now that its doyens control all branches of the federal government.

          And yet this libelous attack is more focused on left-leaning opinion sites than on the ultra-right. The latter were thrown into this list almost as window dressing. Conceivably because the far right is very adept at self-defense. But more because the prestige and financial well-being of the center-“left” is endangered by the rise of an adversarial, econo-centric left. The insiders from this branch of our duopoly never have been harmed by their historic “opposition” (Tea Party kooks + corrupt Beltway Republicans).

          What I interpret this as is a strike by ‘think tank’ grifters against those who are most likely to damage their incomes, their prestige and their exceedingly comfortable berths on the Acela corridor. It’s a slightly panicky, febrile effort by a bunch of heels who are looking at losing their mid-6-figure incomes…. and becoming like so many of the rest of us: over-credentialed, under-paid and unable to afford life in the charming white parts of our coastal metropolises.

          1. Brad

            Correct. The Democratic party liberals perform only one objective function: Attack the Left. That is what they are “there” for.

          2. nippersdad

            I was wondering what Brock has been up to since the dissolution of “Correct the Record.”

            Has it been dissolved or has it morphed into something else? This looks like too seamless a transition from the Clinton campaign strategy we have all grown to love to the revenge strategy we have come to expect from such people. I look forward to the discovery portions of the libel suits to come. Hopefully Yves and Lambert will be taking up a collection for so worthy an enterprise soon.

        8. Yves Smith Post author

          You’ve just libeled me. You have no evidence whatsoever to substantiate your claim. Nor do you have any evidence that Russia has been “aggressively” trying to influence US politics. This is one of many hysterical lines offered by Team Dem over the course of this election, up there with depicting all Trump voters as racist yahoos.

          Ed Harrison, who is the producer of the show and replied later in this thread, is the one who booked Keen and interviewed and other economists and firmly disputes your assertion that his show has anything to do with promoting an anti-US line. And as a former diplomat, Harrison would be far more sensitive than most to that sort of issue. I’m repeating his comment below:

          Hi Naked Capitalism. I haven’t been on this site for some time. But I felt it necessary to comment due to an ad hominem attack from a commenter “James” regarding the show I produce at RT called Boom Bust.

          From my vantage point as producer at RT, I have been able to see the whole anti-Russia campaign unfold in all its fury. I have a lot of thoughts on this but I want to restrict my comments to the specific argument James makes. here:

          “it’s also obvious that RT invites him on the network because he lambasts the American political establishment and weakens the public’s confidence in its leaders. This is clearly a goal of Moscow, and they use people like Steve Keen to do it. I’m sure Steven Keen doesn’t think of his role that way, but RT and Russian intelligence certainly do.”

          Since I produce the show that Steve Keen appears on, I am well-placed to give you a view on this. James’ comment is flat out false. What James writes is something he has fabricated in his imagination – connecting dots he believes should be connected based on no first hand evidence whatsoever.

          What actually happens on Boom Bust is this:

          Since no one I work with at RT has a sophisticated background in economics, finance or financial reporting, they give us a wide berth in putting together content for our show with nearly no top down dictates at all. That means we as American journalists have a pretty much free hand to report economic news intelligently and without bias. We invite libertarian, mainstream, non-mainstream, leftist, Democratic commentators, Republican commentators – you name it. As for guests, they are not anti-American in any way shape or form. They are disproportionately non-mainstream.

          We have no pro-Russian agenda. And that is in part because Russia is a bit player on the economic stage, frankly. Except for sanctions, it has mostly been irrelevant on our show since inception.

          Let me share a strange anecdote on that. We had a guest on our show about three years ago, early in my tenure. We invited him on because he had smart things to say about the UK economy. But he had also written some very negative things about Putin and Russia. Rather than whitewash this we addressed it specifically in the interview and asked him an open-ended question about Russia, so he could say his piece. I was ASTONISHED when he soft-pedaled his response and made no forceful case as he had done literally days ago in print. This guy clearly self-censored – for what reason I don’t know. But it is something that has stayed with me ever since.

          The most important goal from a managerial perspective has been that our reporting is different i.e. covers missing and important angles of the same storyline that are missing in the mainstream media or that it covers storylines that are missing altogether.

          Neither Steve Keen nor any other guest on our show appears “because he lambasts the American political establishment”. This is false. He appears on our show because he is a credible economist who provides a differentiated view on economics and insight that we believe will help our viewers understand the global economy. If Paul Krugman had something to say of that nature and would appear on our show, we would welcome him. In fact, I and other producers have reached out to him many times to no avail, especially after we had Gerald Friedman give his take on the dust-up surrounding Bernie Sanders’ economic plan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yna275KzuDQ

          Look, I understand the scepticism about RT and its motives. It IS a state-funded news outlet with news story angles that sometimes contrast sharply with western media. And it has not been critical of the Russian government as far as I can tell. But you can’t ascribe nefarious motives to individual economists or reporters based on inaccurate or false third hand accounts. You are just making things up, creating a false narrative based on circumstantial evidence. This is just adding to the building peer pressure associated with what almost seems like an orchestrated campaign to discredit non-mainstream sources of news.

        9. bob

          “Russia is aggressively trying to influence American politics”

          Apparently with the help of Hillz. Was her decision to use a private email server made with the help of Putin?

        10. Brad

          James, we get it. We US citizens are not to be permitted to criticize our own government or corporations as that might “weaken public confidence” in our Dear Leaders.

          We cannot be trusted to think for ourselves in discerning what is and is not propaganda, for after all we would be able to discern the same coming from the US side.

          The overt stifling of dissent that was such an outrageous feature of the Clinton campaign “is clearly a goal” of your side.

          Who needs Putin when we have mindless ClintonBots to do all the dirty work here?

        11. Lambert Strether

          > weakens the public’s confidence in its leaders*

          Assumes facts not in evidence. See Pew Research:


          This is a secular trend, a great wave. If Steve Keen were going on Tass 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Live!!! With ***Nude*** WOMBATS!!!!, undermining confidence in neoliberal economists — let me pause to gasp in horror — it would be the merest bit of froth on that wave. Taking Jame’s view as a proxy for the views of the intelligence community, if they really believe this — and it’s not just a ploy for budget time — then the country truly is doomed.

          NOTE * Note the authoritarian followership of “leaders.” So my response with institutions is not precisely on point.

          1. Pat

            The idea that banks were trusted more than organized labor was troublesome to me till I remembered the labor leaders like Trumka and the continued betrayals of membership by the likes of the AFL CIO. At that point I got it really was a toss up.

      3. Synoia

        This is a Bezos hostile takeover – aka:

        My revenue is suffering because my rag is bullshit, but all these alternatives are unfair competition — please Mr Government shut them done, because I, the one and only Great Bezos (or Great Bozo), is loosing money.

        Boo Hoo, boo hoo boo hoo….

    2. davidly

      almost positive = have a vague notion based on nothing but conditioning
      In other words, you are a small-time useful ijit

    3. hemeantwell

      If you’d like, take a trip in the Wayback Machine to 1959. Then you’ll find many criticisms of US society by the Civil Rights movement sharing the same sinister tone as criticisms made by Soviet new outlets. Then you’ll also find a gaggle of US pols and their minions claiming on that basis that the Civil Rights movement is communist inspired, funded, and run. Then you’ll also find many people who don’t bother to distinguish source from story and end up enjoying the official Kool Aid.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        It reminds me of a story from Northern Ireland in the 1960’s when the leader of a civil rights march was asked by a BBC reporter ‘is it true that your organisation has been infiltrated by radicals and communists?’ His reply was to sigh and say ‘I f**king wish it was true’.

      2. John Zelnicker

        @hemeantwell – This same claim of communist inspiration and connection was also thrown at the anti-war movement. I remember arguing with a friend of my parents in the summer of 1969, after my freshman year at college where I was active in the anti-war and anti-draft movements. After countering all of the arguments made by this gentleman, he was left with nothing to say but “Well, that’s the Commie’s line…” as a final dismissal.

        1. cindy

          John –
          Thanks for the posting.
          I have been studying Mat Stoller’s article in the Atlantic, sent to me by a friend, and broken it down editorially in a fairly brutal manner, lol. So it’s nice t find there is a chat site sponsored by Stoller at which many conscious and intelligent ppl are posting. One never know, do one?
          Here is the Atlantic article:
          Don’t get me started!
          Or, do!

      3. Jim Haygood

        ‘US pols and their minions claiming … that the Civil Rights movement is communist inspired, funded, and run.’

        Right up to his death on 4 Apr 1968, Martin Luther King was accused by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI of “knowingly, willingly and regularly cooperating with and taking guidance from communists.” Now there’s a US national holiday in King’s honor.

        That same year, my dad visited Moscow and Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring. After he returned, we started receiving crudely mimeographed newsletters from Moscow — actual Soviet propaganda, delivered right to our mailbox in Texas.

        So laden were they with hoary old Marxist rhetoric that we started satirizing it in our underground student newspaper, mocking the public school administration as “capitalist running dogs” and “colonialist oppressors.” (This did not go over well.)

        To his regret, my dad sent one of the Soviet flyers to the FBI, but never got a reply. He suspected that they put him on a watch list, rather than investigating how the Soviets were distributing their crude invective through the US mail.

        1. fresno dan

          So laden were they with hoary old Marxist rhetoric that we started satirizing it in our underground student newspaper, mocking the public school administration as “capitalist running dogs” and “colonialist oppressors.” (This did not go over well.)

          No capitalistic pigs?????
          – OINK!

    4. Titus Pullo

      They link American propaganda all the time. If you take off your blinders, you’ll find that most news is just propaganda, because the basis for most news stories is what person X says. What’s sad is that people like you believe there is some kind of “objective” news source in the “free world” that is telling it like it is. There isn’t and there never has been.

      It’s all propaganda of one sort or another. I exhort you to read Plato and understand that the Sophists for which Socrates held so much ire are much the same as anon and administration sources for so much of what drives journalism.

      NC separates the wheat from the chaff.

        1. Soulipsis

          I submit articles for inclusion in Links quite often. Yves accepted one submission from me that I got from Sputnik a few months ago (reporting that fully half a farming village committed suicide while using a highly toxic pesticide), and turned down a couple since then. I get the consistent impression that some guiding lights of this website are truth, impartiality, openness, progressivity, positivity, and shudder though I do to say it, excellence. I know these things because they are what I believe in, and I can’t hang around sites that evince crapification I mean exceptionality. Also because I’m half an idiot and Yves still talks to me, so there you have compassion in addition to all the other good stuff.

          The other thing is when you get a commitment to truth like what we have here, more virtues necessary for the endeavor are patience and depth. When all this is what’s happening, an appetite for endless, shallow, self-serving Manichean contentiousness, or an insistence upon orthodoxies of appearance, may go unsatisfied. I hope a certain commenter named James is paying attention.

          I haven’t slept, so pardon the florid verbosity.

        2. Stick

          C’mon. I’ve been reading NC for years and appreciate much of the content challenging orthodox economic theory, but you do realize that your site has a search function. Right? The first page of results shows the following dates: 10/28/16; 9/28/16; 9/27/16; 9/25/16; 7/22/16; 7/20/16; 7/10/16; 7/9/16; 7/3/16; 7/1/16; 6/28/16; 6/8/16; 6/4/16.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            First, this is hardly what I would consider “regular”. We feature BBC at least 2X a week. By contrast, your list shows we’ve linked to Sputnik only once in the last two months. And had you bothered to click through, you would see that all links were provided by readers, and only half related to Russia or Russian political matters. Several were about science or natural events. Reader Wat often sends stories about Weird Stuff in Siberia. One was about a controversy about headscarves in Sweden. And of the ones we features in our Ukraine/Russia section, one looked like a plea for normalization of relations with the US. Pray tell, that is to be regarded as sus?

    5. flora

      You assume, without evidence, that the claims are true. I think in econ that’s called “assume a can opener.”

    6. anonymous in Southfield, MI

      I have identified a motif that pretty much always gives away a Hillary bot- it was used about several dozen thousand times as part of ‘Correct the Record’ during the runup to November 8. And here we have it again. It goes like this: I was always in favor of – – – – – – – (fill in the blank with the supposed offenders name) until I found out this ‘truth’.

      Also, why not just admit you are a Clinton Supporter who finds it convenient that a lot of the sites could be trashed for being critical of HRC

    7. Brad

      NC is likely “far more guilty” in accidentally republishing your American propaganda, since the Russian variety is so obvious.

    8. Lambert Strether

      Let me just make a list of the weasel words (setting aside the famous “I like you, but ____” trope, which I have never yet seen used in good faith in all my many years of blogging, partly because of the assumption that whether a random commenter “likes” the blog is important.

      1. almost positive

      2. guilty of accidentally

      3. at some point

      4. probably linked (but with no evidence)

      5. can be traced (but not by James!)

      6. some …. operation like

      The ginormous pile of steaming innuendo and faux reasonableness aside, James seems to think that the NC readership has no critical thinking skills at all. Apparently, NC readers are little children who need expert guidance from James and his ilk — bless their hearts! — to distinguish crap from not crap.

      Adding… “

  6. KnotRP

    If there is any take away from this foul
    Bernays-inspired campaign season, it is
    that fear can and will overrule reason completely.
    Half of the voters (whichever lost) were set up
    for a cognitive dissonance cork blowing episode.
    No one should expect reason to be an effective defense against cognitive attempts to rectify that dissonance….neither side can be unplugged
    from their self-selected news matrix, without
    blowing their cork. It will not matter that this list
    is comical, because it is a dog whistle to the
    audience preloaded with fear (and the other side would’ve done a variation of the thene if they had lost).

    (pretty funny of them to list your site though..I guess
    the Russians must’ve also been quite upset by all
    the American mortage fraud in housing bubble #1
    and felt a need to…•head explodes•)

    I suppose this comment will add me to some list maintained by some very frightened but misguided people? What’s the line…”lighten up, Francis”?

    1. Benedict@Large

      This has all the earmarks of an effort by the Nuland Neocons that joined Camp Hillary, and now in defeat constitute a portion Hillary’s professional dead enders.

      1. RenoDino

        Camp Hillary, as you call it, has decamped and is on the march. It has powerful allies in the intelligence community, the media and actors on the world stage who deem Trump to be an existential threat to America and world. The story of Russian inspired fake news is paving the way for regime change, an HRC speciality. The recount is the tip of the spear. If they can pull this coup off, sites like this will move from the useful idiot category to the enemy of the state category overnight.

        The brilliance of this move will eliminate all possibly of civil unrest since America democracy will be saved from a Russia threat that requires a declaration of war and severe restrictions on media freedom.

        I can guarantee you Trump is looking over his shoulder and sees it coming and is working furiously to build a case for his own legitimacy. He is doing his best to sound normal.

        Obama has relegated himself to the sidelines. He hates conflict, but will back Hillary if she can pull it off.

        We will know in two weeks one way or the other.

        1. bob

          “Camp Hillary, as you call it, has decamped and is on the march.”

          True that. Even a lost election can’t stop them.

          Heard over the holiday- Andrew Cuomo for prez.

          So the same people who didn’t show up to vote for Hillz can now not show up to vote for her waterboy/bagman.

  7. Manfred Keeting

    Yet Mike Shedlock was not listed. If I were he, I’d be pissed. I’d write to the site demanding to know why!

    1. fresno dan

      Manfred Keeting
      November 26, 2016 at 4:01 am

      If you weren’t on the Nixon’s enemies list, there was something wrong with you

      1. Synoia

        Or not important enough. I seem to remember those years, and my focus was on:

        1. The next Beer
        2. The next female
        3. The next Party
        4. Going to work
        5. I need to pee (see 1)

        All of which changed priority at a whim of what I had to do next.

    1. a different chris

      For sure. The “history doesn’t repeat but it rhymes” is suddenly sickeningly applicable here.

      I hope they’ve bitten off more than they can chew in this case. There is that argument that we are “siloing” in our little corners of the web, however – everybody read the newspapers and listed to the radio back then. Which means a very, very small subset of the population set the agenda. Nowadays, the “far-left” and “far-right” are only a click away from each other (and they always did seem to have more in common with each other than the center which has gone from mushy to absolutely rotten). A unified pushback on this is not impossible and who knows where it might lead?

      1. Plenue

        First as tragedy, then as farce.

        People literally killed themselves because of McCarthyism. No one is going to kill themselves over this farce.

  8. The Rev Kev

    Aha, I have solved the mystery. It is elementary my dear Watson! The PropOrNot site is itself a Russian propaganda ploy on the part of the KGB! What? errr, ok, the FSB then. By adding sites such as the Naked Capitalism site to the list, it will be discredited in its entirety thus letting the nefarious Russian propaganda websites be given a free pass. Mystery solved! And sorry Max but “Naked Capitalism”…a leading left-wing financial news blog”? I’d rather label it a practical and empirical financial news blog myself.
    Seriously, I am wondering if something else is going on here (“tin-foil hat” mode on) with this piece of trash. No doubt people here have heard all the cries of “fake news” since the election. This was on top of months of claims of Russian hacking of the election which is still ongoing (cough cough, Jill Stein). Now Merkel is screaming blue murder of probable Russian hacking of the German elections next year and just this week the EU Parliament has passed a resolution which in part states that Russian media exists to “undermine the very notion of objective information or ethical journalism,” and one of its methods is to cast all other information “as biased or as an instrument of political power.”
    I am given to understand that the military use the term “preparing the battlefield” and that is what I think that we are seeing here. There have already been calls for FaceBook and Google to implement censorship of “fake news” which will amount to censorship of social and news feeds – the same media Trump used to bf the entire news establishment in this years election. Could we be seeing the beginnings of calls to censor the internet? All to fight terrorism and black propaganda of course. The Left would have absolutely no problem with this and if was used to get rid of sites that contrasted the mainstream media’s narrative, more people would be forced to use the mainstream media for their news which would make them happy. Something to think about.

    1. rusti

      And sorry Max but “Naked Capitalism”…a leading left-wing financial news blog”? I’d rather label it a practical and empirical financial news blog myself.

      While the level of discussion here is generally at a much deeper level than most sites and commenters don’t fit into neat little ideological boxes, I don’t think it’s a particularly egregious generalization to call a site with readers that overwhelmingly support things like financial regulation, single-payer health care and post-office banking “left-wing”.

      But Max himself is an interesting character. I’ve been scratching my head wondering how a guy one step removed (Sidney Blumenthal) from the Clintons’ inner circles is ambitious about exposing the ludicrous claims made by those same people regarding Palestine and Syria.

      1. flora

        the list of news sites on the said fact-free, unsourced, anonymous webpage are all, so far as I can tell, news sites that have disagreed with neocon foreign policy preferences on several occasions.

    2. JEHR

      I am so tired of the use of “left” and ” right” and “progressive” and “libertarian” that when I see these words I go off into a daze. These words are bandied about in so many different ways for so many different reasons, that they have almost become meaningless. I would rather that people or organizations be described in detail who supposedly have these “left” “right” etc. characteristics, then I would know what was being claimed.

      1. clincial wasteman

        yes, and one good way to that sort of detailed description is to read here regularly for a while: there’s hardly any political self-tagging or confessional drama going on, but any one person’s comments over a few months do add up to a picture of how her/his life experience, unlabelled political principles, intellectual (not the same as academic!) background and style of spontaneous reaction (yes Mr Mencken, ‘humor!) all fit together. And this gradually reveals a lot more than Left-Right status updates or biographical oversharing ever could: not so much about the person — who has a right to all the unknownness s/he wants — but about the experiences and reasoning that might connect a statement that delights you and another that leaves you aghast when both come from the same person and within about a dozen lines. And all this with no fuzzy-fake “consensus” in sight: mutual respect across abyssal differences is hard-won and correspondingly cared for.

        “The internet” still gets blamed for “ruining face-to-face interaction” by people who probably flatter themselves about the richness of their past social lives. But I can’t imagine when I’ll ever have a spare few years and some mysterious money (not to mention some “social skills” and a valid passport…) with which to visit Maine, Oregon, Arizona, Buenos Aires (etc etc etc) for extended casual conversations there. In the absence of that option, whatever you all have the patience to write here counts as THE escape route out of political parochialism and geographical niche.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > preparing the battlefield

      I like the idea some commenter had (too lazy to find it right now) that all these strategems were long-prepared, and in place for a Clinton victory. Now the Clinton faction in the political class is deploying them anyhow.

      They’d better hurry, because influence peddling at the Clinton Foundation isn’t as lucrative as it once was.

    4. HopeLB

      Rosaria Dawson, Bernie campaigner, foresaw this is her speeches at Bernie’s ralleys. She knew the neolib/neocon, Bankster loving Dems were terrified of Bernie and his grassroots fundraising/messaging and of all the non-MSM media, not drinking the Hillbots’ koolaid.

    5. Fiver

      I’ve expressed my view here a number of times that Clinton would as President of the next Admin do everything in her power to smash alt/progressive-left independent news and information which she would regard as the source not just of her recent electoral difficulties, but also as a serious impediment to implementation of the joint goals of the wealthy, corporate America in toto and the US State – the truth is toxic for this entire generation of elite leadership, but for her it’s an existential threat.

      Make no mistake – this has been baked in for some time.

  9. KK

    Surely any site that accepts donations could be funded by a foreign power without knowing?
    ps A couple of my students make 50p a post for challenging negative posts on travel websites by making up how great was their experience.

    1. a different chris

      And, um, so what? They can waste money anywhere they want. How much has the US spent over my lifetime propagandizing the Middle East and how did that work out?

  10. rusti

    The Neera Tandeen tweet is revealing in that it shows how hypocritical all the pearl-clutching was over Trump’s complete lack of discretion in pushing bogus and fabricated stories. A cursory glance through the rest of her feed shows a bunch of equally thoroughly scrutinized claims that the Putin/Comey/Deplorables triumvirate conspired to steal the election from the forces of Good.

  11. z

    For long time readers this russian(chinese) propaganda should be obvious.

    and it is ok, get used to it.

    great opportunity to learn “how to read between the lines”, and when you understand, solidifying into a basic skill.

    “The only way to get smarter is by playing a smarter opponent.” and now you have a good ones, not a cheap wapo columnist but organised, educated, trained information warfare hacks.

    we are on the early days, more to come, much worse to come.

  12. nmb

    Be careful NC. MSM are in panic. They see that their propaganda is less and less effective and start targeting those who offer an alternative against their obsolete narratives. Be prepared: when they will realize that these don’t work at all, their fake democracy will become an open dictatorship.

    1. Steve H.

      President-elect Trump calling them liars may have unsettled them.

      It’s good to know we have a strong leader protecting our backs!

      /s? Time will tell.

  13. David N

    I loved naked capitalism’s election coverage, but here is an anecdote of how it angered conventional liberals.

    I read a particle physics blog by Columbia mathematician Peter Woit, who wrote an election post-mortem (he occasionally writes about politics). Not Even Wrong is one of the most popular blogs in theoretical physics, I’ve several excellent physicists post in the comments to previous entries. I was very surprised to see Woit blame naked capitalism (and others) for the electoral defeat of Hillary Clinton, he’s a very conventional thinker normally so I would have expected him to not even know about naked capitalism. I’m still surprised he knew about it.

    My guess? There is a lot of communication in the country between people who do read some of these 200 news media organizations, with the vast majority who stick to conventional sources such as the NYT, the WSJ, and who think that Vox and The Atlantic are intellectual sources. When people get exposed to alternative media for the first time, even educated people, their most likely response is some combination of anger, laughter, and asking if the writer also believes that 9/11 is an inside job.

    Anyway, this is what it looked like:

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I hate to get tin foily, but that blog is typical of a few I’ve seen – expressing real anger at the amorphous ‘left’ for not getting on board the Hilary train. There is an element of vengefulness in some of the writing and combined with the evidence of the article above, it seems there is an element within the establishment (the losing half) who are in full on McCarthy mode – and of course the first stage of a purge is to accuse the targets of being traitors and in the pay of foreign interests. Trump and the people around him are dangerous of course, but I think a defeated neolib/neocon establishment is equally dangerous. We are in worrying times, and its not just the far right we have to be worried about.

      1. john bougearel

        Even normally level-headed Bill Black posted some rather biased opinionated op-eds here about P-Elect Trump. Which surprised me.

        1. Synoia

          he’s a very conventional thinker

          And he is in the field of Physics research? Does that make it a Oxy-Moron or the dear Prof a complete Moron?

        2. Lambert Strether

          > some rather biased opinionated op-eds

          Let’s parse this

          1) Throw away the weasel words

          some rather biased opinionated op-eds -> biased opinionated op-eds

          2) Throw away the evidence-free

          biased opinionated op-eds -> opinionated op-eds

          3) Expand the abbreviations

          opinionated op-ed -> opinionated opinion editorial

          4) Eliminate redundancy

          opinionated opinion editorial -> opinion editorial

          So Bill Black wrote an “opinion editorial.” Is there a problem with that?

    2. Marco

      Woit also includes the NYT in his list of culprits so I don’t know what planet he resides. Also interesting to note his jetting off to Paris as tonic. Oh the humanity!!

    3. craazyman

      It’s incredible how many otherwise smart people can’t think for themselves.

      Once a newspaper touches a story the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonist.
      -Norman Mailer

      I am unable to understand how a man of honor can take a newspaper in his hand without a shudder of disgust.
      -Charles Baudelaire

      The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
      -Thomas Jeffereson

      Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
      -Thomas Jefferson

      If you’re not careful, the newspaper will have you hating people being oppressed and loving the people doing the oppressing
      -Malcolm X

      Journalism is organized gossip.
      -Edward Egglestone

      If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read it, you are misinformed.
      -Mark Twain (allegedly, but it could be misinformation)

      It’s hard to know what to believe! You can believe your own eyes, but even your mind connects the dots without you knowing it.

      This is not the Washington Post’s finest hour — although they probably haven’t had one of those for years at this point. I’m down to the Redskins coverage in the WaPo, which is still quite good actually.

      I used to be a Washington Post paper boy, so I’l put one last quote from Charles Osgood

      It was while making newspaper deliveries, trying to miss the bushes and hit the porch, that I first learned about accuracy in journalism
      -Charles Osgood

      (All quotes from quotegarden.com)

    4. Joseph P.

      I notice that Woit has disabled comments on this particular post (all other posts have comments enabled). Probably he justifies it by telling himself that he is running a physics related blog and isn’t interested in promoting discussion on non-physics related matters like politics (but he still wants to promote his own political opinions on his physics blog!). It’s typical of the fingers-in-the-ears reaction that ivory tower liberals to Trump’s win.

      1. David N

        One doesn’t need string theory to explain the lyman-alpha forest though, just lambda-CDM cosmology :-)

    5. ggm

      Calling Susan out by name, misrepresenting her viewpoints, and then turning of comments is completely indefensible.

      I always felt he has needlessly politicized string theory research l by making his case against it primarily in popular science books and on his blog rather than in peer-reviewed journals and academic papers. Since when is it a good idea to let public perception influence our scientific whims? Whether or not his arguments are valid is beside the point, it wasn’t the right way to go about attempting to influence the field.

  14. Sammy

    I am re-posting the following from an insightful comment on the Liberty Blitzkrieg report on this scam site:

    “The anonymous “executive director” of the Propornot website, quoted by the Washington Post, was mostly a likely a “senior military intelligence” impostor cum serial teen pornographer named Joel Harding. He is facing a lawsuit over the copyright infringement of Internet-distributed (teen) pornography (Case No. 1:16-cv-00384-AJT-TCB) in the US District Court for the eastern district of Virginia, Alexandria division. This is in the public domain.

    BTW, Harding’s fellow trolls have been known to ascribe the rank of Brig Gen to their pathetic troll leader in private messages to the unsuspecting.

    No wonder Joel Harding wished to remain the anonymous “executive director” whose laughably scientific work was quoted by Washington Post. But why didn’t Washington Post’s Craig Timberg check this up? Basic journalistic checks thrown out of the mixed gender bathroom window? Details of Harding’s trolling activities are available on the very Internet that is trolled by Joel Harding through his 3,000-odd troll sites.

    And to think that I used to be an avid reader of Washington Post’s science and Technology reports now galls me.

    There is a growing assumption that the patriotic paranoid activities of Joel Harding and associates are a cover for their Ukrainian teen pornography distribution business.”

  15. charles leseau

    So are you changing your name to Eva Smithova any time soon? Or maybe change the page header to Голый Капитализм for a bit?

      1. pretzelattack

        i don’t think i’ve ever seen a moose or flying squirrel antidote. this proves the pernicious russian influence.

        1. petal

          It’s going to be a surprise and happen when everyone least expects it. Sneak attack by moose and skwirral. Anyway, concerned by number of supposedly educated friends(Clinton supporters) being taken in by this fake news/Russian ties thing. They’ve lost their heads and there’s no discussing it with them, they are convinced. Where does it end? Na zdorovie!

          1. pretzelattack

            it’s truly amazing. many of these people have denounced joe mccarthy all their lives. somebody referred to invasion of the body snatchers on nc the other day, that’s the only logical explanation.

      2. OIFVet

        I was thinking Katyusha. Besides being a very pretty diminutive name for Katherine, the sound of the Katyusha rockets made the forces of evil’s collective sphincter tighten up. Just like the sound of the truth spoken to power here at NC is apparently tightening up some establishment sphincters :)

        1. ambrit

          Oh OIFVet, do you know where this line of snark is leading? Next, the NC will be “mischaracterized” as Stalin’s News Organ!

          1. OIFVet

            Well I, for one, think that the MSM transcribers of the neolib/neocon status quo have earned a good shafting :) Plus, the eponymous song is very touching, and the rendition by the Red Army Choir is beautiful.

            1. ambrit

              “By The Rocket’s Red Glare?”
              Who would have ever suspected Francis Scott Key of being a “Fellow Traveler?”

  16. EndOfTheWorld

    Sigmund Freud called this “projection”.

    The US MSM is all propaganda all the time—every bit as bad as Pravda ever was. RT now is the “anti-propaganda.” They were even carrying Jesse Ventura and other Americans who are blacklisted by the MSM.

    This is a “hail mary pass.”

    1. Pavel

      A hail mary pass that was intercepted by the opposing team and run back for a touchdown.

      Methinks the WaPo, “PropOrNot”, and the rest of the MSM involved with this stunt are going to have a lesson in The Streisand Effect. Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg (whom I greatly admire BTW) has said he already has many new followers and donors.

      1. EndOfTheWord

        The hail mary pass was intercepted and run back for a touchdown. Ha, ha, ha. That’s a good one, Mr. Pavel.

  17. hunkerdown

    There’s a Chrome addon in beta! Wow. I must say I’m impressed. It’s like a porn blocker for liberals in crisis.

    This demands popcorn and much Nietzschean weaponized laughter.

  18. sd

    Serious question here.

    What exactly is the origin of the Russia bashing that’s been going on as of late? I feel like I missed some important public dis somewhere that would explain it all. Condoleeza Rice’s general dated anti-Soviet attitude I could understand, but that doesn’t explain the escalating bigotry pouring out of Obama and Clinton (and their various surrogates). Is it a case of a bomb in search of a war?

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Looks to me like it came out of the HRC campaign. LOL James Carville was talking about the KGB tampering with the vote tally….not knowing they’ve been out of business since 1991. The whole thing makes absolutely no sense, and it won’t fly with the American public, many of whom watch RT, or may be married to or dating Russians. Even Randy Newman likes Putin enough to write a song about him.

      1. John

        The funny thing is it’s been an open secret that the Democratic party has known about electronic voting fraud (always swinging to the Right) for years but refuses to go near the subject publicly supposedly because they didn’t want people to lose faith in election results and stop voting.

          1. tgs

            The Obama administration said on Friday that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, it has concluded that the results “accurately reflect the will of the American people.”

            From the NYT article you mention. It is now axiomatic that the Putin government was actively attempting to subvert our election. This despite the fact that absolutely no compelling evidence has ever been given.

          2. Crazy Horse

            I particularly like what Putin had to say about the charges that Russia was interfering with the US election. Speaking before the Russian Parliament: “What is the US anyway, a Banana Republic?”

            Unless a citizen is rational enough to completely avoid all exposure to media they need to develop a finely tuned BS decoder. Mine rarely flashes red when I listen to Putin, while Obama, Shrub, Klinton, and Trumpet make it ring so incessantly that it gives me a headache. Since 99% of the propaganda I’ve been programed with since birth originated in the USA, Russian propaganda must be far superior to have so distorted my BS meter—-.

    2. integer

      What exactly is the origin of the Russia bashing that’s been going on as of late?

      I think it can be traced back to this.

      1. z

        after the nineties opening foreign influence was accepted and russia started integrating into the western world. some years later the resurged nationalist kicked out western companies, broke cultural-social contacts.

        west is made on free trade-free business-free ideas flow. if russia not trading on common terms, west gonna take it by force. and russia holds one-fourth of fresh water, one-fifth of world forests, one sixth of arable but never before used land, and never before properly explored mineral wealth. All these can help to secure a prosperous 21.century for the west.

        same like before the american conquest, only difference now local indigenous people wield nuclear weapons and have unlimited chinese support, so no rush let them make mistakes. (and they do, ukraine-syria-azerbaijan just the latest)

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t think there is an easy answer to your question, but I think it goes around to the failed Ukrainian coup (well, partially failed) and the realisation within a certain element of the neocon establishment that Putin had been inadvertently strengthened by their policy failures in the Ukraine and Syria. I think there was a concerted element within the Blob to refocus on ‘the Russian threat’ to cover up their failures in the Middle East and the refusal of the Chinese to take the bait in the Pacific.

      This rolled naturally into concerns about cyberwar and it was a short step from there to using Russian cyberespionage to cover up the establishments embarrassment over wikileaks and multiple other failures exposed by outsiders. As always, when a narrative suits (for different reasons) the two halves of the establishment, the mainstream media is always happy to run it unquestioningly.

      So in short, I think its a mixture of genuine conspiracy, mixed in with political opportunism.

      1. cocomaan

        Don’t forget Snowden and Assange. The intelligence community is, I’m sure, furious about those two. With Snowden still in Russia, it’s basically a weeping sore on the intelligence community’s face. Those people do not like exposure at all.

        I remember that, shortly after Snowden’s revelations, the war drums really started to beat for Syria.

        1. a different chris

          In all success* is the seeds of failure. Once upon a time, the “beating of war drums” was a great distraction from whatever ill’s were currently affecting a nation. But the US now has such an overwhelming military that not only is there absolutely no threat to the US land mass, but for a given person there are at least two degrees of freedom between them and anybody actually involved in these wars themselves. We lost a soldier – ONE soldier – on Thanksgiving day and sure it was all over the news but how many USians actually know even a member of his family, let alone him? About zero to a first approximation.

          So it just isn’t working as a distraction. TPTB I don’t think really get that yet.

          *the word success here is used in a morally neutral sense

        2. Allegorio

          Likewise don’t forget Chelsea/Bradley Manning! He was the one who put WikiLeaks on the map and is now paying a horrible price for his courage and love of humanity. His name is constantly dropped from the list of whistle blower heroes. Why? Because of his gender ambiguity? Whatever his gender Manning is an American hero worth remembering.

            1. Fiver

              Quite right, Yves. Very poor wording on my part – of course I can believe Obama won’t have the simple decency to pardon Snowden, even if he was forced (he won’t be) by Republicans to pardon Clinton. Obama has more than zero courage, but it’s still too small to be measured.

          1. skippy

            Snowden had the temerity to make some very important people and institutions that are supposed to cagoule people look very incompetent….

            Disheveled Marsupial…. an unforgivable sin….

      2. fresno dan

        November 26, 2016 at 7:41 am

        I think that’s about right PlutoniumKun but I would add your moniker – the US is gonna spend a FORTUNE (I TRILLION dollars using Austin Powers voice) updating our nuclear arsenal. Can’t really justify using ISIS, so the Soviet boogyman has to be resurrected….

        1. integer

          Plutonium kun: “I’m hardly absorbed by your stomach or intestines and I’m expelled by your body, so in fact I can’t kill people at all”

          (Curiosity finally got the better of me)

          1. PlutoniumKun

            haha well done. The nuclear industry did their best to expunge all mention of PK boy online post Fukashima, so you often have to google in katagana to find anything – but he’s still out there, still unkillable.

    4. grayslady

      A friend of mine is convinced that Obama and the Beltway crowd have never gotten over Russia giving asylum to Edward Snowden. If you look at the timing between Snowden’s revelations and the U.S. ginning up its anti-Russia talk and activities, there is some correlation.

      1. cocomaan

        haha, I literally just posted this two inches above! +1

        I think the intelligence community, all those northern virginia folks, hate the fact that every day there’s a traitor who has an outlet on twitter.

      2. Crazy Horse

        What really sealed the deal for Obama’s Putin hatred was being outmaneuvered by Putin literally a day before he planned to begin bombing the Syrian army to overthrow Assad. After stage managing a false flag attack with poison gas and using the MSM propaganda outlets to place the blame on Assad, Obama & Hellary thought they were on a fast track to turn Syria into another Libyan hell hole. (and not incidentally open the gate to a NG pipeline end running Russia’s near monopoly on European NG supplies)

        After all, what were all those generous Saudi contributions to the Clinton Foundation for if not to open up new profit opportunities?

        Imagine Obama’s frustration when Putin negotiated the disposal of poison gas through open diplomacy in such a manner as to eliminate his excuse for war.

    5. ToivoS

      What exactly is the origin of the Russia bashing that’s been going on as of late?

      That is very good question and it does not have a simple answer. I have been pondering this for 8 years now. The latest bout of Russia-hatred began as Putin began to re-assert their sovereignty after the disastrous Yeltsin years. This intensified after Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. In adddition the US was preprogrammed to hate Russia for historical reasons. Mostly because of the Soviet era but also when the US inherited the global empire from the Brits we also got some of their dislike of the Russian empire dating back to the 19th century.

    6. Allegorio

      It all started when Putin arrested the Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, when Putin put a stop to the shock therapy looting of Russia by the Harvard mafia and Jeffrey Sachs. Didn’t he know that oligarch’s are above the law? They are in the US. Didn’t he know that money can buy you immunity from prosecution like it does in Europe and the US? Can’t have that, hence the Ukraine, deprive him of his warm water naval base. Then there was the Crimean referendum. Out smarted again! Can’t have that!

      1. WJ

        Yes. There was a Michael Hudson piece posted here in 2014 that lays it all out. Apparently those wanting to bring “democratic institutions” to Russia haven’t given up yet.

        This Propornot outfit has all the makings of a National Endowment for Democracy scam, including its sudden appearance in the Post, which has been publishing crazy regime-change-esque editorials on Russia for more than two years now.

        It’s all so depressing.

  19. Mark Alexander

    It’s all my fault. I studied Russian in high school (4 years) and college (1 year), and even subscribed to Pravda briefly in college (as did all of my classmates) to improve reading skills. I also spent a month in Russia in 1971. This is how I became a dirty commie. By commenting on NC a half dozen times in the past, I have forever tainted it. Sorry!

    BTW, what is the W3C approved sarcasm tag? /sarc or /s?

    1. Disturbed Voter

      I also took 4 years of Russian in HS. When in the Cold War, it is best to understand your opponents (not enemies), rather than be ignorant. That is how one can play chess and win … and yes, it is as much a matter of intimidation and annoyance, as it is cold calculation. Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky. States have no enemies. Former allies become opponents and vice versa … pragmatism rules.

  20. allan

    ” … the kind of folks who make propaganda for brutal authoritarian oligarchies are often involved in a wide range of bad business.”

    Sounds like half of the D.C. economy.

    And so the Democratic Party ends, not with a bang, but with a McCarthyite lynch mob.

  21. divadab

    Well Joe McCarthy was a Republican so this is yet another example of Democrats taking on that mantle of paranoid fear and war-mongering. Flipping Clintons, the best Republican President and candidate the Dems could come up with.

  22. Kathleen Smith

    The MSM can no longer fool the people that there has been an economic recovery, that is why nobody believes the media anymore and that is why Donald Trump won the election. Watching news today is like watching a bad puppet show. The masses are finally waking up to the fact that their government has sold them down the river to big corporations and predatory bankers. Took the sheeple long enough.

  23. Kokuanani

    I was dismayed to see a reference to this rotten WaPo article on Bill Moyers’ Facebook. Usually he’s much better than that.

    And based on the comments, folks are believing this junk.

    1. Escher

      It’s an idiotic new red scare, and I can tell you the well credentialed, supposedly smart liberals in my circles will eat it right up. Their critical thinking is completely out the window at this point, and they’ll accept apparently anything to avoid coming to terms with Clinton having lost to Trump. It’s terrifying.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Bummer. I’ll always have a fondness for him from the Power of Myth interviews.

      Was surprised to find PoN recommended in an article on In These Times.


      9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot and other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

      It was so jarring I kept reading that last sentence, thinking I’d missed the snark. Fully expected it to end with “as an example,” not to lend it cred.

        1. OIFVet

          Timothy Snyder is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. That he would recommend PoN is at least a small indication of who stands behind it. Snyder is has given bad odor to the term “historian” over the past three years. He is to objective history what Bernays was to objective journalism.

          1. Harold

            Snyder: “The army group that liberated Auschwitz was called the First Ukrainian Front.”
            The NYR of Books has suppressed the comment section on its blog, probably to spare Snyder the embarrassment of having his howlers pointed out by readers.

          2. Jason K no name Fame

            E. Harrison, above, also has CFR as a hobby and ex-dip lomat. Knowing that, I still appreciate his interviews and opinions as they get strained through my Mockingbird 3.11 foil filter, and even more so if he wears his glasses on air.

            Controlled oppositions, fogs of war, Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt are all fair in love and end-less war for minds and hearts. Cass and Philip Z. bring the narrative down from up there above, redacted papyrus for my protection and wonder why I don’t eat the dog food given. Kool-aid? Another slice of bologna for my apple pie? “I conspired against the Rube Goldberg machine. I was a hater of the Party People. I did not have enough Hope. I misappropriated an INSOC candle-holder and a few razors…”

            Thank-you Naked Capitalism. Your excellent work has sown fertile fields where mytho-diversity grows toward the light of truth instead of recoiling from round-down ready editors. For years you have been a light.

      1. knowbuddhau

        Ah so, thanks to you both. Two tells made me suspicious: lots of apparently good advice, then the little drop of poison just nonchalantly dropped in the mix; and Yale historian ;) .

        My comment there hasn’t made it out of moderation yet. But someone else tore into him for the same reason I did, recommending PoN:

        Because you have no idea who the hell they are, anymore than anyone else does, they’ve just released a list of non-MSM news sites that they disagree with. They smear long running and well trusted sites as “propaganda” outlets without offering any evidence or stating any sort of methodology. You have litereally abandoned the professional ethic which ought to go along with being a published.historian and University professor purely because it makes you FEEL BETTER.

        I just asked him, as a Yale historian, to please tell us how the list was compiled, or at least give some reason for his unqualified recommendation. I went on to say that I read several of the sites listed, esp. Counterpunch and of course, NC. Even helpfully provided a link to this article, saying the idea that NC pushes foreign propaganda is ludicrous, and the WaPo article was being thoroughly debunked here.

        Ended with “I call upon the author to explain! (h/t Nick Cave)”

        1. Harold

          Snyder’s In These Times article, complete with reference to Pro PORNOt first appeared as a post on his facebook page for November 15, two weeks ago.

  24. inode_buddha

    WaPo Has been sounding increasingly shrill for the last year. Makes you wonder what they’re hiding… or what truth they’re running from.

        1. polecat

          Hit em where it hurts ….. PROFITS !


          ** Any and all who spew this crap …

    1. ambrit

      More likely, what “truth” ‘they’ are trying to manufacture. (When did the new ‘owners’ take up the reins at WaPo? There might be a correlation, and a causation involved)

      1. Inode_buddha

        This is why I’m looking forward to any legal cases that may arise out of this — I plan to follow such *very* closely. Would love to see discovery documents upon the editorial and ownership staff…. the legal equivalent of a public enema, “you shall have no more secrets…”

        After all, didn’t Fox News win a case essentially stating that it was OK to flat out lie and fabricate from whole cloth? Then why can’t Democrat media organs do likewise?

        1. ambrit

          Why didn’t I think of that earlier? “Political Infotainment.” If my reading serves me right, I was under the impression that newspapers of a hundred years ago and earlier displayed their political allegiances openly. A reader could easily work out the underlying story from separating “story” from “interpretation.” Now, news outlets are supposedly impartial and pure of heart. Yet another cherished myth bites the dust. Perhaps it is better this way.

  25. Vedant Desai

    Just check this out :


    Based on the evidence of above mentioned link, this “PropOrNot” can be part of a project of U.S. government to manipulate media to create an anti-Russia climate or more likely another method of attack on what they consider “Left” so status quo in economic policies of U.S. can be maintained.

  26. Susan C

    What is going on with the press/MSM lately? It is like one big game of mind control. Is that what journalism is for – to persuade people to do what the system wants them to do and I hope I am not stretching here but a la Bernays? I mean when I think about this it is really sort of terrifying as the MSM has done little else but constantly broadcast to people that life in America is just fine and everyone is happy when in fact the opposite is true – there is a lot of hardship out there since the financial crisis, a lot of people never recovered, millions or tens of millions. So how can people not be drawn to alternative news sites which thankfully are quite abundant now and want political change? It just seems like the WaPo, NYT are living in this one little sliver of opulence and prosperity while the rest of us just shake our heads and wonder what has happened to this country, especially as we see their darling was not voted in as President. So now they are striking out and attempting to smear the reputations of good sites, And what is this fake news thing – I am not on social media and have no idea what the fake news is – is it about the pizza places? And why are the social media sites being censored – I had read on zh that when the Comey story hit before the election that that news was not trending at all which was very strange according to those who would know better.

    I don’t know where all this fear is coming from in the MSM but I imagine they have lost their grasp of the American mind. I worry every time I tune in that I am being lied to and misled for a reason. A political reason. I grew up in the 50’s and remember real journalism and I want it back. I want to know what is really going on. Everywhere.

    1. Allegorio

      It has worked for a hundred years, since WWI and the Creel Commission, the destruction of a vibrant American Left. Imagine the panic in the boardroom suites, the millennials no longer think that socialism is a bad word, and supported an aging leftist for president. OMFG! It’s all Russia’s fault providing an alternate plausible narrative. Can’t have that. Outsourcing jobs to Asia, burdening college students with immense debts, incredible corruption personified by the Queen of Wall Street couldn’t have anything to do with it. All power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s finally happened, they have over reached and are about to fall off the edge. Relish the panic.

  27. Escher

    So this WaPo story is an example of the “fake news” we’re supposed to be on the lookout for, right?

  28. cocomaan

    When everything hits the fan, I’ll be glad to have you other filthy propagandists in the FEMA camp alongside me, breaking rocks, eating gruel, and discussing the path to insanity.

    I really wish that reporters like those at the Post and the Times had done us all a favor and walked into the ocean after their abysmal election coverage. Why anyone listens to these outlets anymore is a question that I ponder at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering what the hell happened to my country.

  29. Butch In Waukegan

    On PropOrNot’s list is usslibertyveterans.org, which might be an indication its neocon origins.

    The site has few articles, no comments and its visit counter shows under 3,800 hits. It looks like it was created 4 months ago. It is propaganda because?

    Their stats page shows that ProOrNot’s strategy might backfire. Yesterday was a record day for hits.

    Or maybe usslibertyveterans.org is a fishing lure.

    1. Jagger

      Who could possibly have a problem with a site on the USS Liberty? Certainly narrows down the list of suspects considerably, assuming it wasn’t a deliberate false track. For those not familiar with the USS Liberty, it was the USN ship attacked, nearly sunk with heavy casualties, by Israel in 1967. A lot of military still have bitterness towards Israel and the American leadership due to the lack of justice and cover-up over that incident.


      1. integer

        The surrounding of “Russian propaganda” with the letter ‘y’ reminds me a bit of this:

        (((Echo))) is a symbol used by anti-Semitic members of the alt-right to identify certain individuals as Jewish by surrounding their names with three parentheses on each side. The symbol became a subject of online discussions and media scrutiny in June 2016 after Google removed a browser extension that automatically highlights Jewish surnames in the style.

        Note that Israel has a lot to lose if Trump pulls the US out of the Middle East. Here’s some Russian propaganda on the issue:



        1. Fiver

          Trump said “I will be the best friend Israel ever had” and I have no doubt he will deliver big-time. If he actually picks Petraeus as Secretary of State, you can pretty much bank on an escalation of US intervention, covert and overt, against both Sunni and Shia, the same murderous, war criminal, death squad game he perfected in Iraq – setting Sunnis against Shia is long at the heart of Israeli and US policy.

      2. Jagger

        Recent tweet by PropOrNot per Greenwald.


        Tila Tequila’s Descent Into Nazism Is A Long Time Coming

        The self-proclaimed “alt-reich queen” has a long history of anti-Semitism, and an even longer one of internet trolling.

        Again unless this is a false lead, these guys are looking more and more Israeli or Israeli sympathizers. Other tweets per Greenwald at same link also suggest a pretty low maturity level. Possibly kids or college level??

  30. Old Hickory

    The WaPo story is in today’s Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record. Front page, above the fold. Sheesh.

  31. Tom Stone

    This is a lot worse than “Yellow Cake” and it scares the pants off me.
    This is the “Official line”, signed off on by the editors of WaPo.
    Think about that for a minute.
    And then think about the campaign to get the EC to enthrone HRC.
    Trump dissed the MSM and they are pissed off, so are their masters who wanted Obama to slide through TPP in the period between Hillary’s win and the inauguration.
    They blew more than $1Billion on a loser and they may have decided that losing is not acceptable and that it will be HRC on the throne, whatever it takes.
    The recklessness displayed by the MSM here is breathtaking at a moment when the USA is more divided than it has been since the election of 1860.

    1. ambrit

      Add this to the “YouTube Heros” project,
      and the nascent “fake news site” purge program,
      and one sees a coordinated meta project to “sanitize” the public’s sources of information.
      I’m leaning towards your take on this. Joe McCarthy had nothing on these present “operators.”

        1. ambrit

          I’m hoping that the Googlistas heed the “will of the people” and drop this try at crowdsourcing conformity.

    2. tgs

      it scares the pants off me

      I’m with you Tom Stone. There is nothing funny about this. The MSM at this point is the greatest purveyor of fake news on the planet, I am talking about not just CNN and Fox, but the BBC, France24 and so on.

      Pretty much everything they have said and every video they has shown on east Aleppo is either a lie or a fake. As someone noted the other day (I can’t remember who) if the stories about east Aleppo were actually true, then the Russians and Syrians have destroyed approximately 900 hospitals – including the ‘last pediatric hospital in east Aleppo’ which has been completely demolished on at least three separate occasions in the last few months. The main stream outlets don’t even try to be consistent.

      The people who run things here and in Europe are apparently desperate – and this latest move is an indication of how desperate they actually are. It is indeed scary.

      1. HBE

        It’s 90 hospitals not 900, but 90 is just as ridiculous given the whole country of Syria only has 88 hospitals/clinics.

      2. fresno dan

        November 26, 2016 at 10:36 am

        I am publicly apologizing to Sarah Palin who I used to think was a dingbat for all of her criticism of the MSM aka Lame stream media. She was far, far more correct than I ever thought possible.

        But look at the silver lining – how many people like me who thought that the large media got the essential facts correct can now see how much we’re being fed pure propaganda….how much of what you see depends on what your looking for….

    3. HopeLB

      Rosaria Dawson, Bernie Campaigner, foresaw this and was sounding the alarm at Bernie’s rallies that soon “The powers that be” will be going after the internet. Bernie’s amazing use of grassroots fundraising and the non-MSM news outlets that supported him/mocked the MSM’s pitiful finger on the scales coverage ARE TERRIFIED of losing control of what is “accceptable” conversation and critique. Some “Russian Propaganda Sites” should interview Dawson about her prescience.

  32. MRLost

    Weapons of Mass Distraction

    Another nail in the coffin of credibility of the NYT and WaPo.

    Recall after the Stupid War and how there were zero weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq that the NYT and Wapo declined to mention or explore their own culpability in beating the drums of war. This will be more of the same.

    1. John Wright

      The Times had a retrospective on their actions on May 26,2004.


      “Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters. Our examination, however, indicates that the problem was more complicated. Editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper. Accounts of Iraqi defectors were not always weighed against their strong desire to have Saddam Hussein ousted. Articles based on dire claims about Iraq tended to get prominent display, while follow-up articles that called the original ones into question were sometimes buried. In some cases, there was no follow-up at all.”

      So the Times DID admit some culpability, but it wasn’t as if the Times volunteered to donate a portion of their profits(deepen their losses?) to help Iraqi victims or US soldiers and their families.

      And given the Times Syria coverage, where even the sanctimonious Nick Kristof (August 28, 2013) called on for Obama to bomb Syria for credibility reasons, nothing has changed at the Times.

      “Yet there is value in bolstering international norms against egregious behavior like genocide or the use
      of chemical weapons. Since President Obama established a “red line” about chemical weapons use, his
      credibility has been at stake: he can’t just whimper and back down.”

      The Times playbook is to parrot what TPTB wants to do and then if the readers subsequently revolt in disgust, apologize later.

      After I quit my digital subscription to the Times, it seems I’m limited to 10 articles/month. This might be more than the safely recommended monthly dose of the NYTimes.

      1. clarky90

        The dissimulation, the feigned ignorance (the irony). During the 1930s, the New York Times actually acted as propaganda agents for Stalin. They collaborated with the Soviet Security Services to prevent the rescue of millions of Ukrainian peasants (deplorables).


        “In 1932 Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports about the Soviet Union, 11 of them published in June 1931. He was criticized then and later for his denial of widespread famine (1932–33) in the USSR, most particularly the mass starvation in Ukraine. Years later, there were calls to revoke his Pulitzer; The New York Times, which submitted his work for the prize in 1932, wrote that his articles constituted “some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper.”

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        …Editors…were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper.

        And there you have it, boys and girls, the one driving force behind journalism as practiced in the corporate media. If I had been paid for every time I was told to fudge a story lest the local broadcast stations break it first, I would have been able to pay my mortgage.

  33. simjam

    I suspect that PropOrNot’s outburst was developed during the campaign by well heeled and connected Hilary supporters to be unveiled after the election to muzzle increasingly influential web sites including NC. As it stands PropOrNot shot a blank. If Hilary had won the campaign against “fake news” would probably have taken on a more ominous tone.

    1. Mel

      Wolf mentioned that the list will function as a dog-whistle for money — that is, advertisers — telling them about the dangerous places. Maybe not shooting a blank in the short run. In the long run, of course, advertisers will follow the eyeballs anywhere.

      1. BeliTsari

        Think what a gold mine the nasty little twerp’s mysteriously stumbled upon? CTR’s trolls scurrying back to their various K Street firms, double-dipping for Energy-In-Depth, geneticliteracyproject.org, or any number of Rick Berman style social networking advocacy solutions shills, foreign or domestic http://bermanexposed.org/ Trump’s ‘shocking’ win, will simply gavage all the terrified liberal’s money right AT him… HMmmmm? Now, If you question any of the now Ketchum, Burson-Marsteller, SKDK or Hill + Knowlton cut&paste lefty blog aggregator’s PR hand-outs, you sort of HAVE to be an evil Rooskie jihadist hippity-hop thug, right? Soon Google will have to SEO us all down some memory hole?

  34. Oil Dusk

    The MSM became so biased during the Presidential election, it drove many Americans toward social media where you could at least view campaign speaches unfiltered.

    The same process is now being applied in the support of manmade climate change alarmism with hopefully the same result…

    1. pretzelattack

      i think you meant the same process is applied in the support of oil company propaganda. the msm slavishly supported the pro fracking clinton, slavishly acted for years as if there were an actual scientific debate, instead of fossil fuel shills vs scientists.

  35. Uahsenaa

    I really hope this doesn’t get buried in the comments, because it’s important to note that Ames is actually incorrect. He would have been right as recently as 3 years ago but no longer is.

    The provisions of the Smith-Mundt act that prevented materials produced by the BGG from being used for domestic purposes were repealed by the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 (actually passed in 2013, when incorporated into the NDAA), which states:

    The Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors are authorized to use funds appropriated or otherwise made available for public diplomacy information programs to provide for the preparation, dissemination, and use of information intended for foreign audiences abroad about the United States, its people, and its policies, through press, publications, radio, motion pictures, the Internet, and other information media, including social media, and through information centers, instructors, and other direct or indirect means of communication.

    It also contains a provision that supposedly prevents the BBG from influencing domestic public opinion, yet also says the following.

    Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure.

    Worth noting: passed under Obama and discounted at the time but venues such as Mother Jones, who did the heavy lifting of telling progressives they were paranoid.

    1. Katharine

      Thanks for this information!

      I am guessing the proviso you quote may have been intended to cover the possibility of people in places like Florida hearing broadcasts aimed at Cuba or other targets, but it certainly raises questions.

      What I find most despicable in all this is the cowardice of these people making up their accusations and refusing to say who they are. Beneath contempt.

      1. Uahsenaa

        As a loophole it’s not perfect (the intent of the primary provision it qualifies seems rather clear on its face), but we’re talking about people who wrote elaborate memos justifying torture and extra judicial murder, and who went before Congress (i.e. Holder) to claim that “due process” does not necessarily mean “judicial process.” A loophole like that is more than enough to judge such activities legal enough. I certainly can’t imagine anyone in the current administration prosecuting it.

  36. lyman alpha blob

    In regards to all this ‘fake news’ and ‘Russian propaganda’ hysteria, one potential problem I keep seeing mentioned is that certain sites could be banned from FleeceBook thereby destroying these sites’ page hits and ad revenue.

    I don’t use the FleeceBook so I guess I don’t understand how this works. I can come to this or any other website any time I want so why would I care that it’s been banned by FleeceBook? I don’t remember exactly how I first heard of NC but I’m guessing I followed a link from one of the other left-leaning sites I read regularly (which coincidentally also are authored by Boris Badinov according to the WaPo). Is FB sort of like AOL back in the day where AOL users thought they were surfing the intertubes but in reality were in some sort of AOL-approved pen? And if that’s the case I have to wonder how long it will be before FB becomes just like AOL is today, ie mainly used by the less internet savvy. I already hear rumors that the youngsters consider FB something only old people use.

    I am genuinely interested if anyone can explain this – would it really hurt websites that much to be banned by FB? Wouldn’t there be a backlash against FB for doing so?

    PS: The thing that made me start using NC as my go-to source for news besides the excellent original financial reporting was the fact that you guys started including regular links to sites like BAR, Counetrpunch, etc that I was already reading anyway. I feel like I can read here without missing out on what was going on elsewhere – there’s only so much one can read in a day. Keep up the great work!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I would assume that’s how they intend to hurt these sites, but we get virtually no traffic from Facebook. However, being banned from FB would seriously dent out policy influence.

      1. Jess

        The thing is, it would prevent people like me from linking to NC stories in our personal posts, or in replies to posts from our FB friends.

        1. polecat

          Well now … they gotcha were they want ya …

          don’t .. use … Faceborg ! ….. see that was easy ….

          same with GooGOO, TWITTED etc. …….

          1. Jess

            Unfortunately, Faceborg is the best way for me to stay in touch with certain people. For example, it has a closed group called FDL-LLN which is limited to former commenters on FireDogLake. (LLN stands for Late Late Night, which was a subforum for people to post music and discuss musical artists; the LLN heading was used for the FB group out of, I believe, both nostalgia and the friendships that many formed as FDL “pups”.)

            In addition, if you post an NC link on FB, it gets seen by many people who might not otherwise become aware of the site.

            1. polecat

              well .. by all means … go ahead and continue to be used as product, because THAT”S the only thing of import by the likes of zuckerberg.

            2. homeroid

              Ah Jess I miss LLN and Suz an Tut and all the rest. But not enough to go Faceborg. Somethings are lost some remain. I still have a phone which i use every so often.

    2. skippy

      After a few years of FB econ sites, hashing things out with the usual suspects, things began to increasingly change as the primaries got to the wire. Once solid commenters replete with knowlage and experience began to mimic the very people and camps they once railed against.

      It was on then when I took on these people for such actions that I started to get the FB treatment, ending in privacy washing.

      Disheveled Marsupial…. especially when noting Hillary’s history and bad side, sad to think it might have been one of the old gang that put in a complaint to FB.

  37. WhatsNotToLike

    There is something bizarre about this whole scenario.

    PropOrNot is asserting that the sites on the ‘List”, both right and left, were responsible for the Clinton loss by spreading false Russian propaganda. This would make more sense, as a political project, if Clinton had won. Asking the Trump DOJ and Trump’s/Comey’s FBI to investigate the asserted causes of Trump’s win is bizarre.

    It only makes sense, IMHO, if this project was already in the works pre-election anticipating a Clinton win, where it would have had the benefit of targeting both the right and the left and continuing the drum beat for war. If that is the case, the losers appear to be too shell-shocked or committed, financially or ideologically, to think through the implications of letting this go forward.

    I do like the idea of NC, and other left-wing sites, forming a coalition with right-wing sites to take legal action. Ralph Nader’s “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State” comes to mind.

    1. Skip Intro

      The site was apparently registered on Aug. 21 2016, when the establishment still felt confident that the ascension of the empress was a done deal.

      1. WJ

        Wasn’t the reality of Russia intervention in Syria well underway by that time as well? Wasn’t the whole US Syrian ploy dependent on everybody selling the people a clear distinction between evil Assad, evil ISIS, and good moderates (ahem…al-quaeda)?

        That narrative was clearly no longer believed even by the journalists writing it. Why? Sites like this one and others. Why does it matter? Because aim was to get rid of Assad to cut Russia out of Mideast, having failed to achieve that goal two years earlier in Ukraine. Cui bono?

    2. nippersdad

      Good points. Also, IIRC, internet governance is due to be turned over to a non-governmental organization in the not too distant future. Might this not be a way of achieving the elimination of net neutrality during a Democratic Administration that would not want to be seen as sticking the knife in themselves?

      In that scenario, it would look a lot like the present Administration is secretly working the refs in the same way that they tried to push the TPP and its’ associated ISDS provisions before the whistle was blown on them.

  38. Light a Candle

    Wow, this is surreal. Edward Bernays on steroids.

    This whole bizarre “fake news” meme along with the and the Russians are coming is getting widespread media traction including Vanity Fair. It’s getting repeated in Canadian media too.

    Now PropOrNot not is not credited as the source but the more plausible sounding Foreign Policy Research Institute and lots of references to the Washington Post’s “reporting”.

    I think this is a deliberate campaign to discredit progressive and independent news sources. God forbid that citizens should read a variety of sources and make up their own minds.

  39. Stephanie

    I have wondered for about a year now if someone is handing out anti-Russian story quotas – or maybe anti-Russian story cash, with a bonus for anything that goes viral. I’m not sure how else you explain stuff like this from a Gawker site that was mainly focused on minimum wage law and whether the Tilted Kilt could legally fire you for being too fat.

    This current listicle feels very much the same, except with less professionalism and more credulity. Either someone is getting paid enough not to care how asinine this looks, or the inmates really are running the media asylum.

  40. S Haust

    Thanks a lot for noticing this.
    Provides me a one-click route to a long list of my favorite sources.
    Don’t need to bother with bookmarks anymore.

  41. OIFVet

    Naked Capitalism is in great company: BAR, Counterpunch, Antiwar, Consortium News. I didn’t need to read these sites to come to my views though, all they did is to confirm what I had come to believe all on my own: that Hillary is a corrupt warmonger, that the American government has been captured by the moneyed elites, that the Democrat Party is a rat nest of neoliberal infestation. And while I was naturally predisposed toward Russia by virtue of where I was born and by Bulgarian history, my college career was marked by my support for all of the bad policies that brought us the new Cold War with Russia: NATO expansion, the bombing of Serbia, the economic ruin of Russia, the unipolar world order. I was young, stupid, and ambitious. Later on I simply settled into profound indifference toward Russia and a general anti-war attitude brought about by my own service. It wasn’t until the hysterical MSM crapstorm of breathless smears about Sochi that I began to notice the US policies against Russia. So for me, the most effective pro-Russia propaganda outlets proved to be US MSM, WaPo and NYT being the most effective of all. Just one of life’s little ironies. So WaPo wants to sling mud and go on a witch hunt? I suggest that they indict themselves first and foremost, for being a mindless disseminators of US government propaganda.

  42. Dave

    Naked Capitalism is my home page and the first thing I read.
    If it’s Russian Propaganda, I would like to offer a big Thank You to Russia. -sarc.

    Consider the Bezor’s attack a positive, he will introduce thousands of new readers to this site.

  43. S Haust

    “a new ‘Eurasian’ empire stretching from Dublin to Vladisvostok”

    Why Dublin? With a flick of the finger, they could have had the flyover
    terrain between there and Shannon.

    And why Vladivostock? You can go a lot farther East than that and still be
    in Russia.

    For Pete’s sake, why have they not included Sapporo and the rest of Japan.
    Aren’t they vulnerable too?

    And the Aleutians; for that matter, why not the rest of Alaska too? After all,
    we only bought it from them at a knock-down price. Anyone knows they got
    a raw deal. Shouldn’t they want that back too?

    1. Katharine

      You forget their target audience is ignorant of geography, inter alia. They had to stick to names people might be able to place at least vaguely.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Shannon Airport would have been appropriate as during the Cold War it was Aeroflots main base for flying on to Cuba. Its now only a short drive from Trumps Irish golf course.

  44. Ted

    Conflicted. On the one hand, as a long time reader of a diversity of listed websites (on the lefty side mostly), this comes across as ham fisted and, frankly, bizarre. Not only the laughable story itself, but that it has been picked up and reposted by a host of other rather mainstream and ‘liberal’ surrogates.

    It is *bizarre* because Russia today is nothing of what the boogeyman USSR was in times past: an alternative political-economic arrangement to then industrial capitalism. Russia Today (wink, wink) is as capitalist and as democratic as any of the other players on this particular stage (plenty of the former, not so much of the latter). An economic competitor, sure, but no USSR. So the anti-Russia/Putin propaganda just consistently reads hollow to anyone who spends any time just reading run of the mill reporting of goings on in the world (reporting aside from propaganda stories). In other words, if you are a relatively informed reader of diverse sources and traveler, the anti-Russia stuff just comes across as contrived from the get go.

    But then again, I got a chance to visit with some 1000s of academic colleagues at a national convention recently. This is where the ‘conflicted’ point comes from. As Good Liberals, academics dine daily on a strict NYT, WAPO, NPR diet, with the more ‘edgy’ types hanging at VOX and HuffPo. And they BELIEVE everything their beloved media tells them through these sources, without reservation (and with the requisite snark and smirk). The academy is nearly completely captured and now so deeply immersed in its echo chamber that any information that might challenge its perception of the world is immediately dismissed as nefarious propaganda (either paid for by the Koch bros, or Putin). Of course, since the elite academy is overwhelmingly Ivy educated, their worldview loops back to their Ivy educated friends at said media outlets. Creating a bubble that is increasingly impenetrable to reason and critical analysis.

    1. Fiver

      I think you’ve put your finger on a very big piece of the problem – so many decent, smart, successful, socially respected people who can’t or won’t take enough time to listen, read, watch something not stamped ‘Approved’ by major media. Their resources, skills and most of all reputations have been incredibly missed where they rightly belong, and that is on the front line of the movement for change that our best thinkers across the board know must come or it’s all going down.

  45. Moose and Squirrel must DIE

    Lots of panic for the Washington regime. The clownish asshole loser that they carefully groomed proved less repulsive than their chosen Fuehrer Clinton. Now they are distraught to see that their enemy Russia sucks much less than the USA.

    Russians get a much better deal than the US subject population. The Russian head of state has approval ratings that US politicians scarcely dream of. Russia complies with the Paris Principles, the gold standard for institutionalized human rights protection under international review. The USA does not. Russia’s incorruptible President keeps kleptocrats in check, while the US banana republic installs them in high office. Russia complies with the rule of law: they refrain from use or threat of force and rely on pacific dispute resolution, using proportional and necessary force in compliance with UN Charter Chapter VII. The US shits on rule of law, interpreting human rights instruments in bad faith and flouting jus cogens to maintain impunity for the gravest crimes. In the precise terms of Responsibility to Protect, the US government does not even meet the minimal test for state sovereignty: compliance with the International Bill of Human Rights, the Rome Statute, and the UN Charter. Naturally the US is bleeding legitimacy and international standing, and Russia is going from strength to strength. If Russia invaded, we would strew flowers and sweets.

    The collapse of the USSR did Russia a world of good. Now it’s time for the USA to collapse and free America.

  46. nothing but the truth

    it boils down to Soros vs Putin. Anyone who is not with Soros is with Putin, according to Soros.

    Soros cannot digest the death threat he was given by Putin, to stay away from Russia or else.

    Since Soros was born in old communist europe, he seems to believe he has the right to regime change there. And he has been very successful – primarily because he is in bed with the CIA and the Russians are just now waking up again.

  47. Ignacio

    So sorry! I am a foreign “propagandist” reader, commenter and contributer from Spain, and I am just shoked to see this!

    How sad is this, it pretty much looks like McCarthysm again!!!!

  48. Edward Harrison

    Hi Naked Capitalism. I haven’t been on this site for some time. But I felt it necessary to comment due to an ad hominem attack from a commenter “James” regarding the show I produce at RT called Boom Bust.

    From my vantage point as producer at RT, I have been able to see the whole anti-Russia campaign unfold in all its fury. I have a lot of thoughts on this but I want to restrict my comments to the specific argument James makes. here:

    “it’s also obvious that RT invites him on the network because he lambasts the American political establishment and weakens the public’s confidence in its leaders. This is clearly a goal of Moscow, and they use people like Steve Keen to do it. I’m sure Steven Keen doesn’t think of his role that way, but RT and Russian intelligence certainly do.”

    Since I produce the show that Steve Keen appears on, I am well-placed to give you a view on this. James’ comment is flat out false. What James writes is something he has fabricated in his imagination – connecting dots he believes should be connected based on no first hand evidence whatsoever.

    What actually happens on Boom Bust is this:

    Since no one I work with at RT has a sophisticated background in economics, finance or financial reporting, they give us a wide berth in putting together content for our show with nearly no top down dictates at all. That means we as American journalists have a pretty much free hand to report economic news intelligently and without bias. We invite libertarian, mainstream, non-mainstream, leftist, Democratic commentators, Republican commentators – you name it. As for guests, they are not anti-American in any way shape or form. They are disproportionately non-mainstream.

    We have no pro-Russian agenda. And that is in part because Russia is a bit player on the economic stage, frankly. Except for sanctions, it has mostly been irrelevant on our show since inception.

    Let me share a strange anecdote on that. We had a guest on our show about three years ago, early in my tenure. We invited him on because he had smart things to say about the UK economy. But he had also written some very negative things about Putin and Russia. Rather than whitewash this we addressed it specifically in the interview and asked him an open-ended question about Russia, so he could say his piece. I was ASTONISHED when he soft-pedaled his response and made no forceful case as he had done literally days ago in print. This guy clearly self-censored – for what reason I don’t know. But it is something that has stayed with me ever since.

    The most important goal from a managerial perspective has been that our reporting is different i.e. covers missing and important angles of the same storyline that are missing in the mainstream media or that it covers storylines that are missing altogether.

    Neither Steve Keen nor any other guest on our show appears “because he lambasts the American political establishment”. This is false. He appears on our show because he is a credible economist who provides a differentiated view on economics and insight that we believe will help our viewers understand the global economy. If Paul Krugman had something to say of that nature and would appear on our show, we would welcome him. In fact, I and other producers have reached out to him many times to no avail, especially after we had Gerald Friedman give his take on the dust-up surrounding Bernie Sanders’ economic plan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yna275KzuDQ

    Look, I understand the scepticism about RT and its motives. It IS a state-funded news outlet with news story angles that sometimes contrast sharply with western media. And it has not been critical of the Russian government as far as I can tell. But you can’t ascribe nefarious motives to individual economists or reporters based on inaccurate or false third hand accounts. You are just making things up, creating a false narrative based on circumstantial evidence. This is just adding to the building peer pressure associated with what almost seems like an orchestrated campaign to discredit non-mainstream sources of news.

    1. ambrit

      You are in good company with that suspicion of a campaign to “sanitize” the public’s sources of information. If one were to consider the Corporate sector as the equivalent of a state, then almost all news sources are liable to extra strong scrutiny. Going back to Bernays, the “shepherding” of the news sources used by the majority of the population is crucial to maintaining control of public perceptions. In that sense, the present struggle for control of the news narrative is understandable.
      Keep up the good work.

  49. shinola

    NC ”…a leading left-wing financial news blog”?

    Isn’t that a compliment? I mean it does say “leading” (and I have to agree).

    As for “left-wing”, well NC does frequently feature articles by Bill Black & others associated with the University of Mo. Kansas City; and UMKC has long been known for its lefty, socialist/commie leanings – I know because my 81 y.o. mother told me so (and I had a prof. there teaching “History of Economic Thought” who came right out & claimed to be a Socialist – horrors!)

  50. DJG

    Lambert foresaw that there would be a witch hunt after the election. He indicated that it would come from the Democratic Party and the conserva-Dem establishment. And, ecco!, a witch hunt. So what could possibly be the source?

    I am noticing on my Facebook feeds that the ooshy liberals are in a feeding frenzy: They believe that they are victims of some breakdown in information. The shocker was that the news being passed around in DemPartyLandia was that the Democrats were on the verge of retaking both houses of Congress and the presidency. Meanwhile, Water Cooler showed that the neither house of Congress was truly in play and the presidential race was a dead heat. After the election, various lists began to circulate. The one cited by Yves isn’t the first. I saw one list that included The Onion, The Daily Currant, and Duffel Blog. You mean Duffel Blog’s story on U.S. soldiers trying en masse to join the Canadian army isn’t true?

    Further, much of liberaldom is now deep into trying to flip the Electoral College or amend the Constitution immediately, as well as the Trump as Fascist meme.

    Yes, America, land of self-proclaimed bad-asses, turns out to be the realm of panic. And many policies and stances are going to have to be suddenly revised: Ooshy liberals, who supported charter schools for years, are suddenly shocked that DeVos of Amway is a charter-school addict. The disastrous foreign-policy adventures of the last few years have to be offloaded very soon on Trump, so that Obama can be thanked for being scandal-free.

    And, evidently, the conspiracy is now so big that it can’t be blamed solely on Al-Jazeera.

  51. susan the other

    This means we need more outlets besides Google and Facebook; outlets impervious to witch hunts – maybe offshore enterprises, after all that’s the trend. The more the merrier for manufacturing dissent – in a good sense. What Russia does cannot harm us but it is always good to hear their take; and China is interesting as well. We get such gobbledegook from MSM we would never understand a single issue without alternative news. It’s a little late for them to be all hysterical about losing their grip – they’ve been annoying us and boring us to death for 5 decades; and selling us down the river. I’m amazed they have a following at all.

  52. Isolato

    I was horrified to hear this regurgitated on NPR last night w/o the slightest question. Proof? We don’ need no steenkin’ proof!

    1. TsWkr

      I heard the headline on NPR on the way to see family on Friday morning, let out a huge groan and changed the channel. I didn’t realize the insane level of BS until visiting NC yesterday morning.

      I think the headline may have been something like “The Russian government planted numerous fake stories in media outlets leading up to the presidential election, according to unnamed sources in a new unpublished report”

  53. TedWa

    The military industrial complex and all the elites are behind all this massive propaganda stuff and fake news. They want war and nothing is going to stand in their way – not the democrats, not the republicans, no one. HRC knew this – hence her “paranoia” about Russia. It’s crazy. I hope Trump has the balls to stand up against them. Thanks NC for being here !

  54. Rostale

    With the Washington Post at least, there is a pretty handy avenue of response. Namely that its CEO Jeff Bezos, who clearly approves of the editorial policy, is also owner of Amazon.com If you don’t approve of Mr. Bezos using his media platform to revive McCarthyism and Yellow Journalism, keep that in mind when doing your holiday shopping, and when you see that item you were thinking of buying on amazon, take a moment to see about buying it elsewhere, even if it costs a bit more to do so. If Mr. Bezos want to use the Washington Post to promote censorship of media control, make him pay for it in a drop in Amazon’s stock price.

  55. Calvin madamombe

    “Information globalism is a free flow of information across the world irrespective of race, source geography. Its up to a competent reader being selective- choosing what sort of information they want consuming. Its the bases of choice, a basic human right.”

  56. Don Lowell

    Surely there is a lot of stuff going on and its good to flush it out. Wisconsin recount is a good place to start

    I think its local hacking as well as the rooskies..

    1. flora

      The Clinton campaign announced today they’ll be joining the recount effort. Greens start a recount effort, Friday WaPo prints vile rumors, Saturday Clinton campaign announces it is joining the Wisc recount effort. This is banana republic stuff.

  57. winstonsmith

    Here is Glenn Greenwald’s take: Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group. I heartily agree with:

    One of the most egregious examples is the group’s inclusion of Naked Capitalism, the widely respected left-wing site run by Wall Street critic Yves Smith. That site was named by Time Magazine as one of the best 25 Best Financial Blogs in 2011 and by Wired Magazine as a crucial site to follow for finance, and Smith has been featured as a guest on programs such as PBS’ Bill Moyers Show. Yet this cowardly group of anonymous smear artists, promoted by the Washington Post, has now placed them on a blacklist of Russian disinformation.

    From the propornot website (deliberately not linking it) the YYY thing is really creepy.

    The YYYcampaignYYY is an effort to crowdsource identifying Russian propaganda outlets and sympathizers. To participate, when you see a social-media account, commenter, or outlet echoing Russian propaganda themes, highlight it with YYYs accordingly!

    1. Romancing The Loan

      Reminds me of the (((name of jewish person))) thing that popped up very briefly in the right wing fever swamp only to be instantly proudly self-added by a ton of jewish liberals.

  58. Elizabeth Burton

    I have come to the conclusion, based on personal observation, that anyone who includes the words “our leaders” in their narrative is not to be trusted. Granted, it’s a personal thing, as I have been advocating whenever possible that we should under no circumstances apply that label to our elected officials but should instead always use their proper designation: “public servants.”

    Anyone want to wager a thorough check of the MSM for the last fifty years or more would eventually uncover the first one of their ilk to refer to elected officials as “our leaders”? To then be followed by all of the others?

    Because how better to persuade the voting public that they should just fill in the bubble or push the button without asking a lot of silly questions about issues than by subtly brainwashing them with the implication the people they’re voting for are better equipped to deal with the important stuff? Because “our leaders” are clearly better qualified to make the decisions than we are.

    1. George Phillies

      Also look for folks who refer to America as the Homeland. Heimatland sounds snazzier in the original German.

      1. Skip Intro

        Good one. And referring to the president as our ‘Commander in Chief’ is also a pretty revolting tell.

    2. hunkerdown

      Interesting. Google’s n-gram viewer shows that “our leaders” is much more prevalent in books during and after wartime, peaking in 1942-44, with a somewhat steady rise between just before WW1 and the end of WW2 (upon which each war is superimposed), and an odd reversal upward around 1996 whose incline isn’t much deflected by 9/11, and which levels off around 2005. It’s almost like looking at the Third Way made flesh.

  59. Elizabeth

    My ex husband told me that back in the 70s when he was applying for a government job, he had to undergo an extensive FBI check. The fibbies found out he had a subscription to “Soviet Life” (a magazine about cultural, economic stuff in the USSR). As a result, his neighbors, family, past co-workers were all interviewed to see if he was a “subversive.” The Russophobia has a long history.

    I agree with many commenters that Pravda’s ProPorNet’s listing is heading somewhere scary. The MSM got the message that they have no credibility anymore, and they’re in a panic, as are the neocons/neolibs. I think after the US backed Ukrainian coup failed to nudge Russia into a war, this “Russian aggression” meme started in earnest. Now that the election is over and the “favored one” lost, it is quite telling to me that the panicked establishment isn’t going to go quietly. They were planning on having WWIII, and are furious now.

    I’m too young to remember McCarthyism, but this stuff is frightening.

  60. sunny129


    [..]Also included are popular libertarian hubs such as Zero Hedge, Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute, along with the hugely influential right-wing website the Drudge Report and the publishing site WikiLeaks.

    [..]One of the most egregious examples is the group’s inclusion of Naked Capitalism, the widely respected left-wing site run by Wall Street critic Yves Smith. That site was named by Time Magazine as one of the best 25 Best Financial Blogs in 2011 and by Wired Magazine as a crucial site to follow for finance, and Smith has been featured as a guest on programs such as PBS’ Bill Moyers Show. Yet this cowardly group of anonymous smear artists, promoted by the Washington Post, has now placed them on a blacklist of Russian disinformation.[..]


    1. european

      Key line from Greenwald IMO: “The Post story served the agendas of many factions: those who want to believe Putin stole the election from Hillary Clinton; those who want to believe that the internet and social media are a grave menace that needs to be controlled, in contrast to the objective truth which reliable old media outlets once issued; those who want a resurrection of the Cold War.”

      me: The only way the mainstream media can get its power back is by killing or at least crippling the internet.

    1. watermelonpunch

      A bunch of people in the U.S. got fed up, and now it means that a lot of people who were used to only having contact with other people like themselves and hanging out at fancy parties are being told they need to start interacting with the general public or get a different job, and they’re not happy about it.

  61. Karl Kolchack

    Just last week I made my first ever reader contribution to NC–now I wish I had waited a few days so my donation could be interpreted as an “FU” to ProporNot. :)

  62. Sluggeaux

    This Washington Post piece is so insidious as to make my blood run cold. We’ve seen in “education reform” how the Gates Foundation and Walton Foundation would place un-sourced propaganda in articles by friendly reporters in the WaPost and the NYTimes and then reference the news outlets as proving their propaganda to be “fact.”

    As some know, I am a professional conspiracy theorist, having served as a local-level criminal prosecutor for over 32 years. I see a grave threat to the First Amendment when an anonymous source suspected to have ties to the military-industrial complex calls for the government to investigate news sources for espionage.

    I also find it interesting that The Intercept didn’t make the list, despite the presence of Glenn Greenwald. Given Pierre Omidyar’s closeness to the current administration (was FirstLook created to take Greenwald and Taibbi out of circulation during the 2012 election?), is there some sort of “tell” here about where this attack on Free Speech is coming from?

    Those on this blacklist should pool resources to pursue retraction, repudiation, and an admission by the Post editorial board that Timberg’s outrageously un-sourced “reporting” is libelous and was published with an at best reckless and at worst intentional disregard for the truth.

      1. WJ

        Probably true, though also worth noting that (as has been observed frequently here), the Intercept’s regular reporting on Ukraine and Syria was often little better than mainstream outlets.

  63. Allegorio

    What is even more alarming, this seems to be coordinated with Jane Harmon’s recent advocacy of a FISA drone court which also targets “enemy” web sites. Is this a prelude to shutting down dissenting web sites based on their status as foreign agents of our arch enemy “Russia” which the European Parliament has equated with Daesh. There is a sense of impending revolution world wide, is this the first step to preempt such? Is martial law the next step? There seemed to be a lot of projection involved when the neo-libs accused Trump of fascism and not accepting election results. Who is now not accepting election results and who are the real fascists calling for the shutting down of news outlets?

  64. Kevin

    Instead of “most of all, a sense of political levity”, maybe Max meant to say something like political heft, political gravitas?

  65. Kim Kaufman

    I just went to the website. Oddly, Democracy Now isn’t on it. Naked Capitalism doesn’t seem to be on it now either.

  66. Paul Jurczak

    Yet another reason why political establishment got what it deserved this election cycle. They still think that a bit of propaganda denied them a victory and there is nothing wrong with their policies…

      1. tgs

        Jill Stein has embarrassed herself with this effort.

        I gave money to her until she made her final vp choice – Baraka called Bernie a white supremacist! I did vote for her and now feel it really was a wasted vote.

        1% in the national totals. Ok. Being a useful idiot for the Clintons – no way.

        1. Skip Intro

          You must have been on her mailing list for contributions. Did she send you any contribution requests for the recount?

        1. ambrit

          I’m thinking that the “National Greens” got the perks. This could be spun as the higher up Greens using the same strategy for controlling funds flows as did the H Clinton campaign with the Democratic Party “groundlings.”
          Also, as the H Clinton campaign showed, all the money and “lists” in the world avail one nothing without an appropriate “ground game” to match.
          Are the Greens flirting with co-option of themselves by the Neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party?

          1. Lambert Strether

            I keep reading that the Green Central Committee was against this move and that Stein is freelancing. But I can’t run down the rumor. Can readers clarify whether this is mis- or disinformation?

            1. The Trumpening

              Press TV (an Iranian news service) quotes Myles Hoenig, a Congressional Green Party candidate:

              “First, this is not sanctioned by the Green Party. Their steering committee did not approve the Green Party being the recipient of the money, needing to open up an account. Jill Stein might be the perceived face of the party but as a candidate and nominee, she no more officially represents the party than neither Clinton nor Trump represent theirs,”


        2. habenicht

          Too many distractions have kept me out of the news stream for the last few weeks, but I hope this development is some kind of pragmatic 11th dimension chess move. Lambert you always have insight that the rest of us don’t always see.

          I did notice that Jill Stein is the #1 trending topic on yahoo as I write this (don’t think this happened once during the “proper” election cycle), so maybe there is some kind of political calculus with this move (i.e. no publicity is bad publicitiy when its a relatively obscure political movement)

          also to skip intro above, I got a “challenge the vote request” via email and deleted it before I read through all of it.

    1. Allegorio

      Ah yes, one more chance to steal the election. Syria must fall and be partitioned. Russia must be driven from the Ukraine, the internet must be cleansed of dissent. Patent and Copyright monopolies must be imposed on the world. This election took TPTB by surprise, they are surprised no longer. Trump does not want to be President, he’s scared to death. The consensus is that the results will not change. Don’t be so sure. There may yet be a coronation and then the shit will hit the proverbial fan. Apparently it was not enough for TPTB to control both parties, they also control the minor parties. Et tu Jill Stein!

      1. flora

        recounts + planted stories on Russkie interference + pressure on electors to change their votes. that looks like the plan. in my foil bonnet opinion.

        1. Dugh

          Scorched earth desperation from the self-absorbed parasite class whose trough, from which they’ve become accustomed to feeding, has been overturned.

        1. Yalt

          Yes, but as Corbett points out in his response to that comment that’s the business address used by Domains By Proxy, an outfit that lets people register domains without putting their personal information up on the internet, for every domain they register. It appears as the business address for many thousands of domains, not just PropOrNot but also…Corbett’s own blog!

          A connection between Domains By Proxy and Cybersponse might be of interest in itself, but it doesn’t tell us anything about PropOrNot.

      1. Skip Intro

        That seems important enough to paste here for posterity:

        blunder says:
        11/27/2016 at 2:31 am
        Have a look at whois: https://whois.icann.org/en/lookup?name=propornot.com

        Registrant: Private anonymously, but we have Admin-Street: 14747 N Northsight Blvd Suite 111

        On google maps we find an UPS store and CyberSponse, Inc..

        So who is Cybersponse? https://cybersponse.com/
        Board & Advisors: https://cybersponse.com/board-advisors
        Solutions for government: https://cybersponse.com/solutions/government

        Questions? No. Nothing to see here. Better go to UPS!

        paul4 says:
        11/27/2016 at 8:14 am
        Wow! Well done, blunder.

        So who are this cast of characters behind Cybersponse? Some that just leap out are:

        Lt. Gen. Rhett A. Hernandez (ret.) Former Commander US Army Cyber Command

        Joel Brenner, Esq. Counterintelligence & Cyber Expert Former NSA Inspector General

        Robert D. Rodriguez Chairman and Founder Security Innovation Network (SINET)
        What is SINET and why is it supported by the Dept. of Homeland Security???

        Our Mission:
        We believe that effective Cybersecurity is required to facilitate economic growth, protect critical infrastructure and maintain political stability. To accomplish this objective, SINET is dedicated to building a cohesive, worldwide Cybersecurity community with the goal of accelerating innovation through collaboration. SINET is a catalyst that connects senior level private and government security professionals with solution providers, buyers, researchers and investors. SINET sponsors highly interactive networking sessions designed to:
        * Introduce leading innovators in the Cybersecurity industry
        * Encourage collaboration by breaking down communication barriers
        * Facilitate high level sharing of ideas and best practices vital to the strengthening and accelerating Cybersecurity innovations.

        SINET Programs in NY, WDC, Silicon Valley and London are Supported by DHS, Science & Technology Directorate.

        Check out his bio: http://la.cybertechconference.com/content/robert-d-rodriguez
        Formerly US Secret Service, works with DHS, UK Government, Australian Government, US Air Force, etc. “He has been called upon numerous times by Federal Government Agencies to help advise and build private sector outreach initiatives with corporations, the entrepreneurial and venture capital communities” Just the guy to call to “maintain political stability” when the Main Stream misinformation networks have discredited themselves.

        And the Cybersponse Chairman, Founder, and CEO – Joseph Loomis
        (Mr. Corporate Brand Protection)

        “Mr. Loomis was previously the founder & CEO of Net Enforcers, a private online security company focused on counterfeit and corporate brand protection technology services … A formally licensed Private Investigator, Mr. Loomis is also a cooperative member with the FBI and DEA’s divisions on Cybercrime.”


        Originally a US Navy Officer Candidate with a focus on crypto, electronics, computer networking and advanced communications.

        This link connecting him as a member of SINET seems to have been removed:

        CyberSponse seems to be a fairly new (2012) startup company located in Phoenix AZ that seems to have recently and suddenly attracted heavy hitter talent and investment:

        All I can say is there is enough spooks at Cybersponse they could make extra money renting themselves out as a Halloween Haunted House.

  67. Reify99

    Hillary and her handlers had the choice to lose to Bernie or to Trump. They chose Trump.
    (OK, maybe not consciously.)
    Now, they are are NOT happy with the result but please notice that Bernie is looking better, has more news coverage, even appearing on The View, for crying out loud! Yes veal pen, “outreach”, whatever. Doesn’t matter what they Think They are crafting.

    If they keep up the Rooskie angle they will be amazed how good Bernie starts to look.
    A little FB censorship. Ditto! Shut down some international protests. (In North Dakota) Bingo!
    Drive people into the street! Whoooee!

    They, DNC, Bezos et al, will pine for him before this is all over. Because he is the symbol for what could have happened if they had followed the law and had gone peacefully.

    They can’t see it yet.

    BTW, RT has a 30 minute segment with Chris Hedges at Standing Rock circulating now.
    Seems legit to me. Decide for yourself.

  68. RBHoughton

    Yves stand up and take a bow. You have been noticed by the filth. One of the many reassuring signs to come from the corridors of power lately. Is it possible change really is coming?

    1. RBHoughton

      I have just learned of a group in the European Parliament led by a Polish MEP and member of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformers in Europe that is likewise attempting to create a fear of “fake news” from those sites that don’t follow the MSM Editors’ example of restraint in publication.

      It has this week received a huge injection of public money to extend its work. It seems that North America and Europe are in lockstep on the need to keep the people ignorant.

  69. John Day

    I have emailed whoever is at Propornot and politely requested to be added to their list. Johnday’s Blog http://www.johndayblog.com/ , though modest and unnoticed, links mostly to sites on their list.
    If this site is seriously trying to help snowflakes create information-safe-places, then it needs to protect them from my blog, too.
    Fair is fair. I deserve recognition.
    I also think Ilargi @ The Automatic Earth is being snubbed through their non-inclusion of that site.
    Everybody should email them and demand that all worthy blogs get included in their precious list.

  70. Roquentin

    When’s this shit going to end? Every time I think these big media outlets have hit rock bottom, they find a way to sink even lower.

  71. H. Alexander Ivey

    Is it just me or is “PropOrNot” an anagram for a sex site for American football fanatics? (ProPornOT?).

    Just sayin’ (hahaha).

  72. makedoanmend

    “When’s this shit going to end?”

    When the rot is complete and the edifice tumbles?

    Or when TINA wins, and the voices go silent?

    My bet is on the later. Collectively, the money got all 4 aces (and a few more hidden up their sleaves and a few more hidden in their boots, etc – no end of aces.)

    Then the silence reigns and TINA is happy. Despair is walled offed into its own echo chamber and silence is taken for acquiescence and indifference.

    Until it doesn’t.

    Human history just keeps playing the same muzak. Mind you, big nature might be adding a new wrinkle to march-of-death tune. Interesting times, very interesting.

  73. Temporarily Sane

    The western media is committing collective suicide. Not only here and in the UK but everywhere. I watched a three-hour discussion on a German “alt left” YouTube channel that got into neo-liberalism, Trump, the rise of the nationalist right, the absence of a non-cultural/IDpol left that advocated for economic justice, the media’s abandonment of fact-based journalism etc. and they could have been talking about the US or the UK. The exact same issues all across the board.

    The media across the west is now operating as the propaganda ministry for the neo-liberal world order. Facts and information presented in such a way that people can read them and make up their own mind about the issues of the day? Forget about it…it’s a garish, 24/7 appeal to emotion featuring barrel bombs and dead children and starring Trump as Hitler, Putin as Hitler too, war as necessary, Barry, Hills and Angie as Our Flawed But Ultimately Wise And Noble Saviors, with special appearance by poor white people as The Deplorables. Soundtrack by Wall Street & The City.

    Have you ever been pushed out of a moving vehicle on the Vegas strip on a summer night while ripped out of your mind on speed? I haven’t either but I imagine it feeling something like following the ongoing OMG…IT’S TRUMP!!!! spaz attack the media is laying on the public. How will this end? I don’t think it will. The rule book has been burned and trampled on and shit has officially gotten weird…very fucking weird. Some of the Trump is Satan stuff makes North Korean propaganda look subtle and sophisticated. I did not expect, at least in my lifetime, to see the media unite as a propaganda front with “respectable” journalists haranguing the public with nonstop batshit crazy fear mongering nonsense. (I almost hope Trump sues their sorry asses and wins.)

    But…why? I don’t get it. Why does Trump inspire such panicked fear in the neolib elite? Because he might govern like Reagan?? That can’t be it. It seems really irrational….really really irrational. What will they do if an actual neo-fascist wins an election? Call them Hitler? It’s almost like they are not really thinking this through. At all. On the upside, I now know what it is like to be “left speechless”. It’s…

      1. Temporarily Sane

        It’s not really a thing…I called it that because what used to be the normal left ceded the economic realm to the neolibs and, IMO, is no longer “left” in any meaningful way. Old-school or “classic” left would probably be a more accurate term for what I meant. For a lot of younger people Dem style identity politics nonsense is the only left they know, but I just can’t bring myself to call it that.

  74. Jabawocky

    Another view:

    Intelligence agencies are used to running the news. MI6 have always run Reuters and the Telegraph in the U.K. The CIA, AP. So the question for them is that if they are not running the news, which foreign power is?

    So rather this is paranoia writ large, not necessarily born of attempt to limit free speech. They actually really do suspect these sites to be the fruits of enemy powers.

  75. LifelongLib

    The tone of the site is like that of Cold War conservatives, who always said that anyone who criticized the U.S. (at least from the left) was aiding the Soviets. And they probably believed it too.

  76. washunate

    Not that you and Lambert need the props, Yves, but I couldn’t resist adding my compliments to the pile. Congrats yet again.

  77. Chris

    Related topic – was anyone else surprised by the vehemence that stories from NC and others were disavowed by your so called liberal friends and acquaintances?

    I know in my case, it was around the time that the MSM was smearing Bernie for not supporting down ballot Dems and the counter punch article listing the suspicious donation trail hit. I followed the donation links to the FEC website and verified that what the author of the counter punch article said was correct and independently verifiable. Upon sharing that information with my friends, who were having a conversation about whether or not Bernie was a viable candidate and whether he was showing the correct amount of leadership with respect to other Dems up for election, everything I said in public and in private was rejected. The victory fund was beyond reproach!

    A little while later, when the primaries were done and the email hacks were a thing, they were asking if there was anyone taking the information in them seriously and whether they pointed to anything useful from the primaries. I told several friends about the details in Matt Taibbi’s piece on the Victory Fund shenanigans in a Rollingstone, and the response was, “Oh god, not this again! Let us know when you’ve stopped wearing tinfoil…”

    So for me, this bizarre McCarthyite smear fits perfectly in with the anecdotal evidence I’ve seen. There are many people in my personal circle who consider themselves liberal, who also voted for Hillary, and see no contradiction in their belief. To those people, the existence of data which refutes their claims is too painful to bear. Trying to discuss such positions will get you ignored or smeared with claims of confirmation bias. To say nothing of the looks that trying to explain the financial discussions that go on in this salon will get you…

    Keep up the good work and I’ll keep donating to the site :)

  78. EllaYT

    I have been reading NC for a number of years, but never commented until now. Perhaps there is another angle to all of this ‘fake’ news versus ‘fake’ news, the so-called propaganda matrix, which nearly all of us partake in every single day: Traditional print media, including the Washington Post, NYTimes, and many, many others, are only staying alive by having their articles published over via online outlets. Without googling anything, only a tiny minority of people would actually read these publications anymore, yet, when you take a look at Google News (and since I’m not on Facebook, I cannot comment on this other commercial behemoth), any article by the Washington Post and other major news organizations, always show up in the ‘top news’ category without fail. Mind you, I purposely never PERSONLIZED my news via Google, precisely in order to avoid bias, but anything by the Washington Post and major US outlets, and occasionally even VOICE OF AMERICA ends up on the front page.
    The absolute dominance of Google and now Alphabet, with proven ties to the intelligence community and its massive data collection capacity, must be broken, one way or the other. The incredible amount of power in influencing public opinion, which these Silicon Valley companies have, is way underestimated. The massive tax avoidance schemes by all the US tech giants, both in Europe and elsewhere, are a matter of huge concern. And their increasing entanglement with our military/intelligence/foreign policy complex, should be viewed with the utmost scepticism by anyone with a few braincells left.
    This viral story, promoted by the Washington Post via Google, and now with Google offering a browser extension to their Chrome browser in order to weed out so-called Russian propaganda outlets, is nothing short of absolutely chilling. No amount of Stasi surveillance aparatus could have dreamt of such an effective means to marginalize entire segments of society, regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum.
    An incredible amount of money is being spent in order to sow division amongst the entire populace, all based on an entirely secret algorithm, which depends on VIRAL sharing, is the ultimate control mechanism of a new class of billionaires, who at least partially, are proposing to abandon humanity altogether by establishing new colonies on Mars. Good luck with that.

  79. Doug

    FWIW…The Washington Post is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s company. And Buffet is a HUGE supporter of Hillary Clinton. It may be a coincidence…

  80. anti-social socialist

    Would I go so far as to label NC a “fake news” site? Nahh. But this pearl-clutching is a bit laughable given the doubling down on factual errors (regarding HRC’s “deplorable” comment) by two of NC’s moderators just a few days ago.

    Unfortunately, facts currently take a back seat here to tribalism.

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