Washington Post Refuses to Retract Article Defaming Naked Capitalism and Other Sites

Our attorney, Jim Moody, sent a letter over the weekend to key figures at the Washington Post, demanding a retraction of its story, Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election by Craig Timberg, that defamed Naked Capitalism and other well-regarded websites.

Immediately after Timberg’s dubious story ran, journalists immediately sounded alarms about the Post endorsing and promoting a McCarthyite blacklist, and even worse one that clearly had no sound evidentiary or methodological foundation. Timberg’s piece was widely derided by other publications and prominent writers, including the New Yorker, the media watchdog FAIR, Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept and Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. A representative assessment came from Patrick Maines, president of The Media Institute, at The Hill: “….perhaps the shoddiest piece of feature writing since Rolling Stone published its blatantly false story about a campus rape at the University of Virginia.”

In addition to calling for a retraction, our lawyer also demanded a prominent public apology and an equally prominent opportunity to reply. He asked for a reply in three business days.

The Post did respond in three business days, posting a statement at the beginning of the Timberg article.

However, the Post’s action was inadequate and served to confirm a lack of commitment to integrity and fact-based reporting. This text now appears at the beginning of the “fake news” story:

Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda. A number of those sites have objected to being included on PropOrNot’s list, and some of the sites, as well as others not on the list, have publicly challenged the group’s methodology and conclusions. The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so. Since publication of The Post’s story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its list.

This part of the statement is remarkable: “…does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet.” This is tantamount to an admission that not only did the Washington Post do no fact-checking, but that it also does not consider fact-checking to be part of its job. And it has the temerity to accuse others of engaging in “fake news”?

This minimalist walk-back does not remedy the considerable damage done to Naked Capitalism and other sites. The Post is being disingenuous in trying to take the position that its featuring of a newbie group with no track record whatsoever was not tantamount to an endorsement. It is also disingenuous to take the position that referring in the story to PropOrNot’s “200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season” which had already published at PropOrNot’s did not legitimate it and drive traffic to a previously unknown site. The fact that journalists almost immediately found the blacklisted sites and took the Post to task on Twitter and shortly thereafter in news stories shows that the Post did damage to Naked Capitalism and other publishers vastly beyond the original publication of the list by amplifying it, which led other major news sites like USA Today and Daily Beast to pile on.

As one of the publishers of another site on PropOrNot’s hit list said via e-mail”

No mainstream news consumer will see this editorial comment, after having been blasted by WaPo and the other media which loudly trumpeted the faux study.

Here were some other reactions:

From John Helmer’s latest post:

Responding to consumer protests that WaPo’s reading material on Russia is defective and false, and that its reporter on Russian propaganda, Craig Timberg, is a fabricator, the newspaper announced last night that it “does not itself vouch for the validity” of what it publishes about Russia, the recent US presidential election, or American democracy. For “validity”, the Washington Post’s editors mean truth. For “does not vouch for”, they mean what Nash Holdings and Bezos are calculating as a put-call option on lying.

We also received many e-mails privately, none of which saw the Post’s response as adequate. A representative note from a financial analyst and writer:

Not enough! They need to apologise. They should also fire Timberg.

From a journalist:

Mealy mouthed calculation. Now let’s see whether management and their lawyers think this “mitigation” will stifle NC’s legal demands. In the old days of defamation law, the entire story would be suspended or removed, and a notice put in place where the story was. This indicates WaPo thinks they can circulate lies so long as they signpost them. No duty or no responsibility for reporting the truth, and no liability for lying, faking, etc. If homicide were like lying, then the WaPo approach is that so long as murderers issue disclaimers, victims deserve what they get.

Readers were similarly unimpressed. For instance:

hunkerdown
Translation of WaPoo editor’s note: This article was a means to an end, a sham designed to get the Cold War 2.0 into the NDAA, and now that the mission is accomplished, we’re laughing at all of you.

The Post has made clear that it does not consider fairness and accuracy to be important. How can journalists there, who, unlike Timberg, care about the integrity of their work, feel comfortable working for a management that is promoting a rush to the bottom in the interest of getting stories out faster and getting more eyeballs? And why should the public at large trust the Post? After the firestorm of criticism, the editors and publishers of the Post should recognize that they have a serious quality control problem. If Timberg and the editors responsible are not fired or demoted, this sends a clear message to all other writers that anything goes.

We want to thank readers for their support. Dealing with a libel of this magnitude has been emotionally draining not just for me but Lambert and other writers, enormously time consuming, and is already having an impact on my health. Other sites damaged by the Post have expressed interest in pursuing legal action. I doubt this handwave-masquerading-as-a-concession will dim their resolve.

But as much as Naked Capitalism has been caught in the crosshairs of an unwarranted attack, it is critical to recognize what is really at stake. Since the first net neutrality fights of the early 2000s, major media enterprises and pipeline providers schemed to restrict the freedom of the Internet and re-assert the position of traditional brands and the few newer players who have managed to attain the scale and brand recognition to make them Too Big To Squash. Because smaller web publishers have had enough natural allies in these fights, these legislative threats to an open Internet have been successfully beaten back.

But the multi-fronted censorship efforts, particularly using Facebook bans and software tools to silence or discourage readership of sites that successfully challenge mainstream narratives, is a new, private sector-led initiative which is far more challenging to contest by virtue of lacking a clear focus for joint action. We hope that other publishers as well as users of information recognize how serious this threat is and take forceful countermeasures. This is not the time to be complacent.

We hope you will help us rise to this challenge. And we will be taking more action, so stay tuned.

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150 comments

  1. Paul Art

    Yves/Lambert,
    I commend your courage! What you are doing is taking enormous risk in going up against the 0.1%. If there is any hope left in this country then it is in the work that people like you do. Keep kicking Washington Ass please.

    1. Katharine

      Indeed! But at the same time, please take care of yourselves! You matter in your own right, and to us, and if one of those isn’t sufficient motivation consider the other.

  2. Disturbed Voter

    Perhaps the only thing these Nazis understand, is a deep pocketed lawsuit. NC needs a billionaire supporter who is willing to sue the WP into bankruptcy. Too bad I am not a billionaire ;-)

    This is political. The Clintons Inc and the DNC need to be outlawed.

    1. Alex

      Clinton Inc and the DNC are already “outlawed”, given their flagrant violations of campaign finance and anti-corruption law. The problem is the law is not enforced. Adding more “bans” solves nothing.

      1. Propertius

        Unfortunately, we don’t actually sentence anyone to “outlawry” anymore.

        More’s the pity.

    2. wheresOurTeddy

      Big club, you ain’t in it. – Carlin

      What good are laws if they aren’t enforced equally among upper and lower classes?

    1. Jim Haygood

      A close synonym is wapophagia — eating a crapified diet of MSM lies, which they’ve convinced the victim is heavenly manna.

      1. cocomaan

        Jim, I know you are trying on different nicknames for our favorite paper.

        Personally, I like the scatological WaPoo.

        Or if you want to make reference to a honey eating bear, because some of us are less than bullish, WaPooh.

        1. Jim Haygood

          It’s two semantic roads leading to the same destination, c-maan, as Deplorable-Americans like our goodselves resist the wapophagiacs of the mainstream media with their brown-smeared pie holes.

          1. Steve H.

            While I commend you on your alliteration, cadence, and semantic contractions, I must object to your use of ‘pie’ in this associative sense.

            So wrong.

        2. ChiGal in Carolina

          For shame sir, now you have gone too far!

          Let us please forbear (!) associating any of the charming inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Woods with the MSM.

          Oops meant to be a response to c-maan’s first comment above.

          1. redleg

            My progeny has forbidden me from reading them these tales, because I erupt in gales of uncontrollable laughter any time someone fills a honey pot for consumption.

  3. sufferinsuccotash

    Just delete PropOrNot and substitute The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It’s not about finding the truth. It’s about normalizing lies.

    1. cocomaan

      Right on. When Yves says:

      This is tantamount to an admission that not only did the Washington Post do no fact-checking, but also that it does not consider fact-checking to be part of its job.

      Another way to put it is to say that WaPoo is not in the business of investigation but instead is in the business of regurgitation. WaPoo seems to think that reporting equals repeating.

      We don’t need people who repeat other people’s words. We need reporters who are digging.

  4. Eduardo Quince

    Not enough! They need to apologise. They should also fire Timberg.

    Was this mimicry of a Trump tweet intentional or subconscious?

  5. Jeff

    Listening to Orwell, NC does journalism and WaPoo is a PR flack.

    There is one class action we all can do immediately: stop buying, clicking, referring WaPoo. That will accelerate their built-in obsolescence.

      1. nippersmom

        Pleased to say that I could probably count all the times I’ve purchased from Amazon on one hand, and the last time was probably at least 5 years ago.

        I stopped reading WaPo as a “news” source a long time ago, but must admit that until recently I still indulged my guilty pleasure of reading advice columns on their site. Now I no longer even give them those clicks.

  6. john bougearel

    “This minimalist walk-back does not remedy the considerable damage [already] done to NC and other sites.” No, it certainly does not. Once the “defamatory cat” is out of the bag, you can’t exactly stuff the cat back in.

    Proceed, young lady…with your case. But as you move forward, do take measures to keep these vampires from stealing your adaptive energies and health.

    p.s. You know, this diminiishes WaPo to a mere “blog aggregator” when allows its “reporters” such as Craig Timberg to merely “scrape and publish” posts from anonymous blogsites (not even scraping from the laughable “gold standard” of truth on the internet: Wiki). These reporters aren’t writing, they are scraping. What a bunch of lazy fucks at WaPo!

    And you know what I’d really like to do: kick this Craig Timberg character a new ass in a dark alley. Yves, when you are done shredding WaPo and Timberg, I sincerely hope they won’t be able to sit down for a whole year.

    p.s.s. that post (yd) about Wiki becoming the “gold standard” of ‘fact-finding” and “truth” on the internet was particularly disturbing. Even citations from academic journals (such as JAMA) posted in Wiki are laden with flawed research suffering from poor design and methodology, draw the wrong conclusions, reveal biases and conflicts of interest, show a lack of references etc. Decades ago, there was a shift in much of the medical literature – a shift from “evidence-based” to “consensus-based.” The internet appears to be moving in the same direction, using various tools and methodologies that allow “consensus-based” opinions (valued by the certain parties that be) to be shaped as “facts” and “truth.” When in fact, those opinions are anything but a truth.

    1. flora

      …. a shift from “evidence-based” to “consensus-based.”

      Yes. That’s what I see as behind the browser flagging extensions, as if facts are subject to majority vote, which would make them opinions, not facts. If wapoo prints an editorial opinion on the editorial page, that’s one thing. If wapoo prints editorial opinion masquerading as fact on the front page, that is a different matter.

      Wapoo’s arrogant reply, in the form of an editor’s note, to NC’s letter isn’t a surprising first move for them. I trust NC’s atty has already thought many, many steps ahead.

  7. Northeaster

    Paging Barry Ritholtz. Hopefully he privately reached out to you. It’s bad enough he has silently sat on the sidelines.

  8. Sally

    “The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so.”

    You couldn’t get a more weassely response. They admit they didn’t fact check their sources, they cowadly now hide behind the defence of not actully naming any of the sites, and then finally try to play the “nothing to see here” defence of pretending the article didn’t mean what it quite clearly did mean when it was published.

    Increasingly, challenging western govt output is seen as a form of rebellion. As Orwell said…. telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

    1. dk

      “… nor did the article purport to do so.”

      Shouldn’t that be “nor does”? Since they didn’t take it down…

  9. Jim Haygood

    One day I was listening to Bloomberg News on the car radio, when they aired a critical story on a company where I had worked. The criticism was from a third party group. And then the next news story began.

    Stunned, I phoned the reporter and asked, “Where was the company’s rebuttal, or refusal to comment?”

    He replied, “It was there, you just didn’t hear it.”

    But I had listened with full attention, and it wasn’t there. Maybe an editor had removed it to shorten the clip.

    This has been my experience with the MSM. They are always right. They make no mistakes. You should believe them, not your lying eyes and ears.

    1. Ulysses

      “This has been my experience with the MSM. They are always right. They make no mistakes. You should believe them, not your lying eyes and ears.”

      We have always been at war with Eurasia.

      The Ministry of Truth hasn’t, yet, been given the power to completely silence those of us who don’t stay within the confines of The Narrative. So their tactic is to portray us all as dangerous disinformators like Emmanuel Goldstein.

    2. ckimball

      Many years ago I worked for architects specifying finishes and furnishings
      for commercial projects. During one project I was concerned about
      one of my selections. I told the architect I thought I may have made
      a mistake. He said, you don’t make mistakes. I thought about that
      one for years. (It was done, there was no return. money money)

  10. Andrew

    Accuracy is not part of the job when producing and publishing fake news – Washington Post

    Insta-epic classic

  11. William Young

    In 1975, I went to the Soviet Union with a group of American tourists. At the time, I was working as a volunteer for Ralph Nader. A few times, some of the people in our group had a chance to talk to Soviet people in our hotels. The other Americans would give civics book explanations about how the US government worked. Some of the Soviet people would question these explanations, saying that they had heard from their government that the American government worked in a way that sounded to me much more accurate and in line with the way Nader portrayed the US. Undemocratic regimes are often fairly accurate in describing the faults of other governments, especially those of their perceived enemies, while ignoring their own failings. I do not know exactly what Russian propaganda the Washington Post is referring to, but I would not be surprised if various Russian sources simply repeat the common criticisms of the toxic activities of the neoliberal establishment – an establishment of which the Washington Post has been a long-time supporter. Why go through all of the trouble of fabricating stories when the reality is as damning as anything you could make up? So rather than the US sources in question spouting Russian propaganda, the Russians might simply be repeating the criticisms they are hearing from the US.

  12. FedUpPleb

    This is tantamount to an admission that not only did the Washington Post do no fact-checking, but that it does not consider fact-checking to be part of its job.

    Ah, the Ratings Agencies “opinions” defense. Blithely ignorant of their own legally and historically protected positions. I suspect this is exactly the defense the WP will run with. Effectively they will assert their constitutional right as propagandists, to broadcast whatever they please in the national interest.

    is a new, private sector-led initiative

    I would say not entirely. True, large private corporations are behind a lot of this, but what is at stake is their authority to speak for, and their connections to, the state and Deep State.

    On a more emotional level, what is at stake is status. Because really that is all the big newspapers have anymore. Social status. Do not underestimate this currency. It is probably the most precious form of capital there is and the Post, et al, will fight with their fingernails to avoid losing it. Things could get pretty nasty. Good luck and give the bastards hell.

  13. mk

    Time for an Amazon.com boycott. How many days since you placed your last order? 30 days for me, Nov. 8.

    1. Stillfeelintheberninwi

      I walked away from Amazon several years ago after reading how they treated their workers. Along with Walmart they are killing small businesses and I’m sick of my having to subsidize these big folks who don’t provide living wages.

      In WI, Walmart is #1 employer on the Medicaid list. Here is the link. https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/badgercareplus/enrolldata.htm

      If you go there notice they quit posting these reports about when Scotty declare for Prez. Drives me crazy that a HOSPITAL/medical clinic is #4. Oh, and John Menard, the richest guy in WI, his company is #5.

      I now order books from Alibris. It’s all independent booksellers and you know what, you pay the shipping, but it is often CHEAPER than the big Azhole.

      I’ve waited a little longer, probably because these independents don’t have the cozy deal with the USPS, but I can wait a bit.

      Change your behavior. We can make a difference.

    2. HotFlash

      Long, long time, b/c of their policies. I figure my opinion doesn’t count, my vote doesn’t count, but by golly, I will make every dollar I spend count. I buy locally when possible (ideally both locally made/grown and locally-owned retail, although there is at least one local company I will not patronize, for policy reasons) and have found alternate sources for things I can’t get around here, eg. Powell’s for books and Lehman’s for tools and kitchen stuff. As a last resort I will comparison shop on Amazon and then ask my local supplier to order the thing in for me (as I did with my water heater). Not one nickel of mine will go to WaPo or Amazon. And I have told rellies, pls no Amazon gifts for our household.

    3. Elizabeth Burton

      As much as I would love to “boycott Amazon,” it’s not possible for several reasons. First, being old and crippled, I can’t run out to the nearest Target to buy stuff, and I definitely don’t have time or physical capacity to hop all over town trying to find some specialty item that doesn’t sell enough for most bricks-and-mortar retailers to carry. I do buy direct when it’s possible, but the fact of life is there’s stuff you can only find on Amazon.

      Second, I own and operate a small digitally-based book publishing company, and Amazon is our major source of revenue. For me, boycotting Amazon would mean pulling my authors’ work from distribution there, which isn’t an option. Likewise, consider Kindle owners with extensive libraries.

      Frankly, I consider these calls to boycott some huge corporation the kind of symbolic action that allows people to feel good about themselves while avoiding doing anything actually effective. Like writing/emailing/phoning the editorial board of the local news media should they be broadcasting/publishing this rubbish—preferably all three and multiple times. Given that many are connected to the same major corporations as the Big Media, that strikes me as what really needs to be done.

      After all, WaPo isn’t doing this in an echo chamber. Their fiction was picked up by all the major players and more than a few of the minor. The only way to counter public discourse is publicly.

      On another subject—Yves and Lambert, if you’d like someone to run over your articles pre-publication for a quick copyedit, you know where to find me. It’s one of the non-monetary things I can donate.

      1. Spring Texan

        Agree on symbolic action. I do buy from Amazon and either go to antiwar.com first (a mixed site, but one I want to see endure) and click so they get a commission or go to smile.amazon.com so my favorite small charity gets it.

        Buying is NOT voting. I’m a citizen and not mainly just a consumer. Not buying from amazon would hurt me more than them (especially as I like buying obscure second-hand books). There are much better things I can do to be politically effective, including letters to the editor and contributions.

        I do buy by preference from a third-party that doesn’t distribute from Amazon warehouses if the price is close. And there are many things I do choose to get locally or from others. But I buy a heck of a lot from them especially books.

    4. JamesG

      Walmart has recently upgraded its on-line shopping site and its performance.

      You may not like WM but they don’t own the Post and they’re big enuff to hurt amazon.

  14. aliteralmind

    There should be a union of sorts, among those defamed. Join forces with some other reputable smallish websites and create a consortium that pools resources to fight this sort of thing going forward.

  15. millicent

    I think you should take the strongest, most aggressive stance possible given the huge number of very important issues at stake. I will continue to support naked capitalism any way that I can.

  16. kokuanani

    Yves, have you contacted Bill Moyers? He initially referred to the Post article without adequate critical comment. He could and should remedy this. His voice would carry weight with the book bag-toting NPR folks, who will be among the last to “doubt” the Post.

    1. Lupemax

      Excellent suggestion. I found NC when Bill Moyers recommended it on his old tv show when he interviewed Yves and it has continued to open my eyes big time and I haven’t been the same since. Whenever I encounter a NYTimesbot or a BostonGlobebot or a Wapoobot or NPRbot (Blindly quoting believers) I tell them I don’t have time for MSM anymore after Bill Moyers recommended this incredibly informative site and I tell them all about NC. I am so grateful for NC and Yves and Lambert and all the other contributors for what you all do. I would be devastated if this horror damages you (us) all. And Net Neutrality in general – Trump will go after it. WaPoo (love that) should be taken way out to the woodshed, shamed, and publicized for how awful they (and so many others in the MSM) have become. I will help in any way I can. And please stay well Yves and Lambert.

      1. savedbyirony

        I found NC through Bill Moyers as well. Since he retired, i rarely look at the website and never the FC page anymore since the content significantly decreased in quality and originality imo after he retired. i know his name is still attached to the website and he still occasionally submits articles, but i wonder how much oversight and content involvement he has with the operation these days.

        1. savedbyirony

          That should read, “since he retired from the tv show Moyers & Co and it went off the air”. The website still lists Bill Moyers as the managing editor. But the quality of the website noticeably changed after the show left PBS in i think 2015.

  17. andyb

    It appears that the globalists are scared of anything that resembles the truth that counters their incessant propaganda If there was ever a discovery process in a lawsuit against WAPO, I would imagine that all roads would lead to a Contelpro section of the CIA. It’s interesting that Wall Street on Parade has noted that Propornot has a double blind registration in New Mexico.

    1. susan the other

      A propaganda holding company! This is allowed by the Whappo? It’s a felony masquerading as a farce and they can’t get out of this like little Judy Miller pretending to be dumb. Judy Miller is very sophisticated and so is the Whappo. Journalism isn’t journalism if it does this sleazy stuff. Since when does a newspaper “disclaim” its own news? It’s totally outrageous. And the nerve to say that PropOrNot insists on being anonymous. PropOrNot might as well be the Whappo itself. Only sleazy purveyors of crap disclaim it. This is just asking for satire. Whappo deserves to be ridiculed into oblivion.

      1. susan the other

        just a quick check on the net produced a a site: dab-oracl.com and an atty named Donald Burleson – stating that New Mexico is one of 17 states that enforce criminal libel and that you can file to lift the veil on anonymity for defamation and have the perp arrested… cool

        1. craazyboy

          craazyman may know these people!

          It’s in Santa Fe and the U of Magonia has a channeling portal there. The channeling portal connects to alternate universes and higher order dimensions and all sorts of weird and unusual stuff passes thru the portal. It’s where craazyman finds out about lots of stuff and he may have bumped(if that’s right word) into these other channelers?

  18. johnnygl

    If they can’t vouch for the validity of their sources and stories, what value are they adding as an organization?

    If we want, we can go direct to prnewswire and govt issued press releases.

  19. seabos84

    I’m 56, I was a 9 buck an hour cook in Boston in 1988 when Dukakis came out of Labor Day with a 17 point lead.

    The campaign wizards of Bush Senior came up some kind of ‘Dukakis hates America…’ baloney, because of some other baloney about The Flag!! or The Pledge!!! For days, GWB Sr. came out in front of a bunch of flags & said the Pledge, and the craven, sycophantic, grovelling media of the day dutifully reported –

    “In order to show ‘__Dukakis hates America___’ Vice President Bush said the pledge of allegiance.”

    Anyone from that era remember all the liberal cloak rending and finger waving and furrowed brows? Anyone remember that Fairness Doctrine thing??? Seriously – having some contract mouth piece of the WAPO question NC is a badge of honor.

    rmm.

    But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,
    Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
    And thus I clothe my naked villany
    With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
    And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.

    1. Northeaster

      Dukakis infamy was due to the rape question in regard to the death penalty. It also didn’t help posing in a tank.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Dukakis’ loss was due to his weak response to a racist smear campaign that assigned him personal responsibility for every poor decision made by the Massachusetts penal system.

        His sin was failing to fight back with sufficient vigor. It’s a good choice of anecdote for this comments thread however. An object lesson if you will.

      2. Science Officer Smirnoff

        Willie Horton, Swift Boats, . . ., “Fake News” but that’s just political campaign agitprop.

        Official or establishment agitprop is far more potent.

        Any submissions for the sweepstakes?

  20. AnonymousCounselor

    The Washington Post has responded, from the perspective of their own interests, in literally the worst way possible.

    They have essentially gone on record as admitting that publish articles that are defamatory per se in a reckless manner, using a reckless (or non-existent) fact-checking and vetting process.

    It’s really unbelievable, and many of us in the legal community are scratching our heads, now, wondering from whom The Washington Post is soliciting legal advice.

    1. sid_finster

      I don’t think it matters, when you’re the WaPo and acting as a mouthpiece for the establishment.

      I expect dismissal or summary judgment.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        They wouldn’t have deigned to respond at all if they weren’t nervous about our attorney. But I agree, this response is incredibly lame and not helpful to them from a legal or reputational standpoint. They seem to think if they make a minimal gesture, NC and the other wronged sites won’t proceed. Bad assumption.

        1. OIFVet

          My grandfather was a political refugee. He escaped Bulgaria after being jailed one too many times for having the audacity to disagree with the communist elites and its media organs, and to do so in public. What I see happening here in the US, with dissent on the verge of being suppressed or even criminalized, deeply concerns me because it reminds me of those bad old times. I respect you guys and your willingness to stand up to power, in ways I can not adequately express. Thank you.

  21. John Wright

    Craig Timberg may be another example of the “son of more successful father” phenomenon who in attempting to exceed their fathers, do great damage to others (other examples: G.W. Bush, Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain…).

    Timberg’s father, Baltimore Sun political reporter Bob Timberg, is described at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-bob-timberg-20140821-story.html

    ” He was nearly 30 years old, borderline ancient for a beginning daily newspaper reporter. Unlike other Capital staffers, he was a Naval Academy graduate with a master’s degree in journalism, and he was a Vietnam war combat veteran. And he could not type.”

    “I first noticed Bob’s reporting talents from his incisive articles on a legal challenge to compulsory chapel attendance at the U.S. service academies, filed by six Annapolis midshipmen and a West Point cadet.”

    “The highlight of Bob’s reporting was an interview with celebrated evangelist Billy Graham, who shockingly characterized the students’ lawsuit as a being “part of a planned attack against all chaplains, to force them completely out of all services,” and further suggested that the young men were Communist dupes. Though Bob knew now that he had a good story, he still pressed on, asking Graham if an atheist can become a good naval officer. “I can’t comment on that,” the preacher answered.”

    So Timberg’s father questioned a prominent person who was alleging “Communist dupes” against military chaplains.

    But his son does little vetting of the shadowy group PropOrNot as he goes for HIS story alleging “Russian propagandists”.

    It may be too late for the son to learn from the father’s example.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Good story. The son as a pale shadow of the father is, as you say, not an uncommon thing. Craig, in this current example, doesn’t seem to understand even the most basic, fundamental principles of journalistic ethics or professional conduct. It’s strange someone in the profession that long could survive lacking that. Or maybe once you get on with a big name paper with a billionaire owner, sucking up to the establishment is a get out of jail free card when it comes to ethics and professional accountability.

  22. linda amick

    I stopped ordering from Amazon two years ago after reading the stories about labor conditions for warehouse employees. It is nothing more than brutal slave labor.
    I used to at least read the headlines in the NYT and WaPo. Now I can not even stomach them.

  23. Sluggeaux

    So, the WaPo now admits that “journalism” is dead and stenography is the only purpose their “platform” exists for.

    The quaint institution of “journalism” existed to sort “fact” from “opinion” and made the important distinction between the two. Opinions are like belly-buttons and assholes, everybody has one. Facts are more difficult to discern, but are immutable and objective. As attributed to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

    This is the death of the First Amendment — The ScAmazon model of purporting to be a “marketplace” but refusing to vouch for the quality, safety, or authenticity of anything that they loudly and slickly shill to profit from the work of others. It is disgusting, hollow, and amoral. It must be brought to heel.

  24. Carolinian

    I suspect the MSM have always seen their ability to shape elections as their true “ring of power.” As you say this has been going on for a long time–certainly pre-internet. The fact that Trump won despite their best efforts has likely shaken big media to the core. Which doesn’t mean Trump’s election was a good thing or a bad thing but simply that they didn’t get to pick.

    Television will always be the most important medium when it comes to politics but the print media now see their role as “influencers” under threat from the web. And given their financial problems this may be the final existential threat. It’s likely the Post editors knew perfectly well what they were doing and how shoddy that story was. It was a shot across the bow.

  25. DJG

    Yves: What is going on here is deeply ingrained. We live in a country in which everyone’s opinions are now canonical, as we see with wonder about the candidate for the head of the EPA. Pruitt’s opinion counteracts years of research, because lawyers know all about science.

    I was reminded of how ingrained these “narratives” are when I read the lead in the Talk of the Town in the most recent New Yorker: Jeffrey Toobin on voting. He did a drive-by diagnosis of Jill Stein as a narcissist. (But, but, but the New Yorker already declared Trump a narcissist.) Then, in a couple of very curious sentences, he tries to accuse the Russians of tampering with the U.S. election campaign while admitting it unlikely that foreigners hacked the vote count. So you have two or three or four fake-news pieces strung together so as to assert power. That’s the long and the short of it. Just as Pruitt is an ignoramus about science, so Toobin as an ignoramus about psychology. As Lambert often writes: Agnotology. I’d add: Agnotology to maintain the structures of power.

    We have been in this intellectual winter for a while: Liberals in denial, peddling psychobabble. Rightwingers in denial, peddling resentment.

    Keep talking to your lawyer.

    1. olga

      At the end of the 70s, we came to the US, believing western media to be the epitome of honesty and truth (the belief itself based on plentiful pro-western propaganda, which we consumed unquestioningly). The highly misleading anti-Soviet propaganda in the US at that time was a bit of a shock. Not so much its existence, but its vicious nature. And the lies about “Russians are coming.” Nothing much has changed – the west still dislikes Russia, and will do all it can to discredit the country (just watch out for the starting effort to ruin the 2018 futbal (soccer) games in Russia – anti-Sochi hysteria was just a preview). The wapoo stunt may be crude, but it is not a demonstration of incompetence. It does seem to be a part of concerted efforts to limit the free flow of information on the Internet. As the “narrative” has gotten away from powers that be, a new way to censor information is needed. Even Merkel said she’d want to address “fake news.” Has everybodu forgotten operation Mockingbird (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird)? Nothing new under the sun – but the stakes are much higher now, as the west runs out of options to maintain supremacy.

      1. tgs

        Yes, I find it hard to believe that, given the current hysteria, Russia is going to be allowed to host the World Cup in 2018.

  26. digi_owl

    More and more it seems like USA, like the roman empire, needs barbarians at the gates to distract the plebs from internal structural problems.

    As long as Yeltsin allowed Wall Street to loot Russia of former soviet holdings, Russia was not “barbaric”. Now that Putin has put a solid halt on said looting, Russia is again “barbarians”…

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Want to have some fun? Next time someone starts ranting about “the Russians hacked our election,” try tossing out “Well, we messed with theirs, so it seems only fair.”

      1. Lord Koos

        It’s fitting, since the USA sees no problem in rigging other countries’ elections, whether it be the middle East or Latin America.

  27. LA Mike

    They basically pulled a trump:

    “I’m not saying it’s true, but I’ve heard other people say it’s true.”

  28. jake

    Post editorial/management probably doesn’t have strong opinions — or any opinions — of the sites impugned by PropOrNot, including Naked Capitalism, since it’s unlikely these corporate drones possess enough intellectual curiosity to actually look at them.

    The problem is confirmation bias (in this case, offering an acceptable explanation for why WaPo’s Chosen Liberal lost the election, without having to look in the mirror) and shoddy careerist journalism generally, which works so well for so many, and which can’t be litigated away.

    Banish Timberg, and you might as well put WaPO out of business.

  29. craazyboy

    I recall seeing somewhere in the initial flurry of tweets and comments on the subject that someone had contacted Wapo and received a response from the editor or some such stating that “multiple contacts” were made to PorNot for some sort of purpose, perhaps verification, fact checking, or what ever it is newspapers do before breathlessly getting out the bold typeface and running a “story”. Wish I could find it again. But now it seems that was fake news.

    The timing and placement of the “clarification” is rich. 14 days later slip in an “editor’s comment” buried in the old news pile. Your pet parrot wouldn’t even notice.

  30. drb48

    Timburg is obviously another tool – like Judith Miller. His “editors” knew full well the story was bullshit – “can’t vouch for the validity” (because we can’t be bothered to check our sources) – and ran it anyway. So there was/is an agenda. And the media wonder why they are in such low regard.

  31. amouise

    Yves, in your apology post with your attorney’s letter, you stated this

    I also hope, particularly for those of you who don’t regularly visit Naked Capitalism, that you’ll check out our related pieces that give more color to how the fact the Washington Post was taken for a ride by inept propagandists…

    My first reaction to this was “presumes facts not in evidence”

    I don’t believe the Post was taken in by anyone. They wanted to have a particular piece written and they did. Why in the world would they back down now?

    You’re going to need more fundraisers because I’m guessing they’ll be dragging this out. If they can’t beat you with fake news then they will drain your resources with a long-drawn out legal process. Yes, I’m very cynical. Watched one of the bloggers I follow spend around $150,000 defending themselves from a defamation case that never went to trail. The blogger was also a lawyer so could help with her defense, had discounted legal assistance from an first amendment expert and an additional attorney. They had a year of depositions with constant delays. $150,000 is not petty cash.

    I know the circumstances are not the same but the Post has deep pockets. If they want to drain NC and other independent news sources, they have the resources to go the distance.

    Also please stop giving the newspapers excuses. The entire industry is pretty much consolidated. I don’t think they very much care about whether or not a newspaper makes money after they’ve leveraged it with so much debt in order to purchase it in the first place. Or used their billions to simply buy it. Either way that would seem to indicate that’s about the write-off and controlling the “narrative.”

    As an added bonus get rid of your workers due to “costs.” Further narrowing the acceptable narrative within the newsroom. Pretty soon, the entire industry is gutted just like other industries in this country. (I’d argue that’s most of the way done except for independent media.) That’s quite purposeful and just like other industries, it never had to be that way, even with the rise of the Internet and “things” like Google ads and Facebook.

    Stop giving them so much of the benefit of the doubt. They are engaged in a class war.

    Even if somewhere down the line they were to apologize and give you a prominent byline, the damage is already done with a good portion of their readership. Which was entirely the point.

    1. flora

      I don’t believe the Post was taken in by anyone.

      I may wholeheartedly agree with you but there are good reasons for NC to be circumspect and initially offer Wapoo the option of backing away and retracting gracefully; or as gracefully as possible in this situation.

      Yes, I’m in for the long haul wrt donations. Bernie’s campaign showed the power of small donations.

    2. scraping_by

      You’ve put your finger on the “stupid, crazy, or evil” question.

      Our esteemed hostess has chosen stupid, for reasons that seem good and sufficient. Crazy would be apparent from past behavior, and we of the tinfoil hat legions can make a good case for evil from the interests of the actors. But if nothing else, stupid is easily proved.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I think the main reason many here are giving the benefit of the doubt to WaPo is that it was done so ineptly. The article reeks of carelessness and non-existent fact-checking and poor (or non-existent) editorial overview. If it was part of a deliberate plot to smear it should have been better written and they would have done a better job in covering themselves legally. Most recent high profile libel claims – such as the Rolling Stones college rape hoax story – originated from a mix of confirmation bias and incompetence, not (so far as we know) from a deliberate malign plot.

      Having said that, their refusal to come straight out and apologise when presented with the facts is just digging themselves a deeper hole. I’ve no doubt the NC crew will go all the way with this, I hope it proves deeply embarrassing for the WaPo, they are destroying their own reputation and its entirely their fault.

  32. RUKidding

    I guess, on one level, it’s intersting that the PTB saw the websites on the list as having that much power and influence to sway the election to Trump… due to telling the truth, frankly. The truth clearly has no place in the US conversation anymore.

    At any rate, most of here saw our main, favored websites on that McCarthyite witch hunt list and thought: WOW. So we told the truth about Clinton and various other issues with this election, and now we must be silenced.

    Of course, it’s pretty odd given the DNC hacked emails were really very revealing of many shady (to say the least) things, and I’ve seen those emails quoted quite a bit by many rightwing sources. And that info was, in fact, disseminated broadly to conservative voters. And I feel that those emails, possibly along with Comey’s last minute “reveal,” probably swayed some still-on-the-fence voters to either not vote for POTUS at all or to vote for Trump.

    Frankly, it’s risable in the extreme that this country has been drowning in rightwingnut propaganda for the past 40+ years (or longer), and that’s really what the rise of Trump is all about. As opposed to others here, I frankly despise Trump and all he stands for, but I give him props where due. He’s kind of stupid but has this certain rat cunning about reading the moment and grabbing it for his purposes. He saw that those who had lost the most in this country were ripe for the plucking, and he went about using them for his own greedy means accordingly.

    Railing against a handful of truth-telling lefty-ish blogs is amazing on one level. I doubt that, even in the aggragate, many voters were swayed by the information provided. I think most who read these blogs are already determined what we’ll do, but we come to these sites for a breath of fresh air, as it were.

    That, for me, is what makes this attack so chilling. The last few small voices of reason and sanity? And they have to be silenced? Brrrrrr…. that’s bitterly cold.

    Keep up the good fight, Yves and friends. This is gonna be tough row to hoe, but I’m in it to win it.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      And by refusing to address the emails, other than to scream “Russian hackers,” the corporate media were able to convince the Clinton cultists and other Third-Way believers that the information they contained was just another right-wing attack on The Anointed because (other than leftist, Russian-loving “fake news” sites), the right-wing media were the only ones paying it any attention.

      You have to give credit where it’s due—they have had decades to perfect their method, and it is very hard to counter it.

    2. washunate

      Agreed overall, but I might add a bit of color to this particular bit:

      Railing against a handful of truth-telling lefty-ish blogs is amazing on one level…

      From my perspective, the Democratic pundit class has staked its reputation in the post-cold war era on representing reality in contrast to the anti-intellectualism ascribed to the Republicans. We’re good, they’re bad. This lesser of two evilism (that must go unnamed, of course; we can’t actually call it that) only works if there are only two perspectives allowed on any particular matter.

      That’s why even a few truth-telling efforts on the leftist-ish side of the spectrum are so dangerous to this arrangement. The potential of alternative viewpoints, no matter how niche, directly challenges the legitimacy (not to mention the ego) of those who pretend to be acting scientifically, responsibly considering all possibilities and carefully weighing the tradeoffs to make the best overall decision.

      It’s why Nader was smeared after 2000. It’s why Biden and the Democratically controlled Senate prevented anti-war voices in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. It’s why Jane Hamsher and FDL were disliked so much. It’s why supposedly progressive outlets turned against Dennis Kucinich and anyone else who actually tried to hold firm on discussing national healthcare. It’s why Dems laugh at people asking questions about drug reform. It’s why there is so much fear mongering generally and red-baiting specifically. It’s why Clinton was (supposed to be) anointed, the path cleared for her of any of that dangerous exchange of ideas-inducing competition, and when the unwashed masses got excited about some aging socialist with bad hair and awkwardly out of touch phrasing anyway, why both he and his supporters had to be systematically thwarted, openly called racist and sexist and that most damaging crime of all, undermining the Democratic party!

      I’ve been a long-time lurker at Daily Kos, and it has been fascinating over the past decade watching the tension between the desire to represent the effort as being reality-based and the need to squash any voice that actually tries to address reality. What stands out about each altercation is how little concrete power each effort held relative to the Dem establishment. The threat was purely about the monopoly of ideas; diversity and dissent cannot be tolerated. Conform or be crushed. Your choice, of course!

      That’s the context in which I put this whole fake news disaster. Standard SOP is to go after the few small voices before they reach critical mass. The cost of that strategy, of course, is that over time the backlash gets bigger and bigger.

  33. ckimball

    The whisper of thought bubbles up
    ‘oh it has begun….
    a giant push back
    created by the contrapuntal echo of
    the clarity of native people’s stand at Standing Rock
    the dogged intention of NC and others, who do not pander, to maintain
    and reach for a standard of thought and trust
    the passion and focus that arose in response to Bernie Sanders and
    the response of those holding power.
    The time has become ripe again to be able identify who and what is broken
    because the abuse of power so clearly hovers before us and calls out a depth
    of human intelligence that cannot be measured by societal designs.
    It’s called human decency which humanity will die without. They will lose.
    Proof: When Veterans feel called to stand with and for native people and
    participate in a forgiveness ceremony. (I’ll send money soon and I’m glad
    to have a place I want to)

    illicits

    1. aletheia33

      ckimball,

      after my own heart, thanks

      silicon valley does not know the meaning of trust. they have extracted it from every situation they can, destroying everything they touch, without realizing what they have unleashed. this will eventually be learned by all, the hard way.

  34. Ralph Johansen

    I am old enough to remember seeing in the news reel at my local theater in 1950 Joseph McCarthy holding up a piece of paper to the cameras and intoning in his inimitable droning voice, “I have here in my hand a list of 205 known members of the Communist Party who are working and shaping policy in the State Department.”

    People’s livelihoods and reputations were thereby smeared for life. Never did McCarthy back his claims with evidence, nor did he retract his scurrilous accusation. Now, tell me how what Jeff Bezos and co. are doing in this instance is in any significant way different from what McCarthy did to these people back in 1956. What finally put it squarely before the American public and finally earned McCarthy Congressional censure was when Boston attorney Joseph Welch asked McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

  35. PQS

    Yikes,Yves! What a lame response from them. We all need to keep up the pressure, by any means. This is one of those MSM errors that they hope will just go away, as evidenced by their hand waving dismissal. We can’t let it! I think letters to the editor-an avalanche- might do a world of good.

  36. paul Tioxon

    https://twitter.com/MazMHussain

    Murtaza HussainVerified account Dec 5
    ‏@MazMHussain
    2003: Rifle-toting Americans barge into Iraq after reading viral Fake News story about weapons of mass destruction.
    ——————————————————————————————
    This fake news story ranks up there with the rifle toting Americans that barge into Viet Nam after the Fake News story about a US Navy warship that was attacked by the North Viet Namese Naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin.

  37. Peter VE

    PolitiFact is running a poll for “Lie of the Year” here. There’s a line for write in votes. I wrote in the Post’s “Russian Propaganda…” story. I suggest you can do the same.

  38. Brad

    A true fake news refusal to retract. Extraordinary that WaPo’s editors also claim “not to vouch” for the veracity of whether or not RT.com is a “conduit for Russian propaganda”. Really? RT is sponsored by the Russian state, how could it not be such a “conduit”? WaPo has all but admitted that it will print all the fake news it chooses to print. This reply is actually worse than the original offense. Pure confection of arrogance and cowardice as only libertarians can produce.

    But of course it doesn’t matter if every last one of the news sources mentioned in the WaPo article were in fact such conduits. The issue is the neo-Cold war, neo-McCarthyite campaign launched over the last 2 years whose center of gravity lies clearly in the Clinton liberal Democrat camp.

    We can only imagine how the campaign would conduct itself if Clinton had won the Presidency. It was predictable they would come after the Left, only now they come on with less swag, but with a pathetic sore loser grudge. A perusal of the Liberal sphere on HuffnPuff, Alternet, Salon and such shows these still lost in a self-induced hysterical psychosis.

    Right NOW is the time to for leftists and progressives to draw a clear line, and distance, from American Liberalism and its blame the victim rhetoric.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Here’s the thing. Yes, RT is funded by the Russian government, and thus anything posted thereon needs to be considered with that in mind. Nevertheless, it is also where stories the corporates prefer to ignore are given attention. In other words, there is an irony that the Russians may, indeed, be trying to influence us, but if so, they appear to be doing it by subtly undermining the reliability of the corporate media.

      To put it another way, dismissing RT solely because of its funding source is no better than dismissing NC et al. as propaganda sites, and doing so is actually feeding the propaganda machine. After all, we don’t know what percentage of the US media currently receives “grants” from US intelligence agencies, now, do we.

      1. scraping_by

        In studying communications, there’s a distinction between ‘white’ and ‘black’ propaganda. White propaganda is publishing truth that supports your cause. Black propaganda is, of course, slanderous lies. RT is white propaganda, so use it for the value it brings.

      2. Propertius

        Exactly. I’m a grown-up. I have a lot of practice reading critically and I’m quite capable of questioning sources and filtering bias. I don’t need Jeff Bezos to protect me from Russkie BadThink.

    2. Yalt

      There’s a sense in which that’s true, of course. But it is a useful characterization? Is there even any point to such a broad statement about a media outlet, other than to discredit work that can’t be discredited on more direct grounds?

      State sponsorship of media organizations is not all that unusual. The BBC is primarily funded by a tax levied on any British household that uses a television to receive a broadcast signal, for example. Is the WaPo in the habit of describing the BBC as a “conduit for British propaganda”? Am I acting as a useful idiot for the UK government every time I rehash an old Monty Python joke?

  39. Child Insemination Action

    “does not itself vouch…” You have to bear in mind this is not the Post talking, this is CIA. CIA has blatantly used the Post as a their sockpuppet since they put Woodward in there to oust Nixon, and now they’ve got Bezos by the contractual balls. CIA has impunity in municipal statute and secret red tape so any answer you get from them means No fuck You.

    The NDAA legalized domestic propaganda in 2013 so when the public repudiated their chosen president Hillary Clinton, CIA immediately got to work work attacking Article 19. CIA is panicking because Hillary was going to get them the war they need to preserve CIA impunity for the crime against humanity of systematic and widespread torture and murder in their global gulag of secret death camps.

    The ICC’s investigation of US crimes against humanity has reached the critical point of referral to the pre-trial chamber. The ICC is under intense pressure from Russia and the global south to prove it’s not afraid of US criminals. Italian courts have got torturer Sabrina de Souza, and they’re going to use her to roll up the command chain. One way or another it’s going to be open season on CIA torture cowards, in universal jurisdiction with no statute of limitations. This is a far graver threat to CIA than the family jewels. The international community is investigating CIA crimes, not avuncular Jim Schlesinger or some gelded congressional committee. Like Francis Boyle says, the US government is a criminal enterprise. And since COG was imposed it’s got one branch, CIA.

    That’s the background here. You’re the Op in Red Harvest. Poisonville’s the USA.

  40. B1whois

    May I suggest that this site no longer link to The Wapoo for stories that are available elsewhere. I personally would prefer to not go to their site at all, but they seem to make up a lot of the links here.
    I understand that sometimes this will be unavoidable, as the Wapoo is the only one doing a particular story, but in cases where the story is carried at other sites, can you please link to those other sites instead?

  41. Epistrophy

    Yves:

    #FreePressDefenseFund

    And as a number of other commenters on this and other blogs have recently suggested:

    #BoycottBezos
    #BoycottAmazon
    #BoycottWaPo

  42. Mike

    I live in New Zealand and start every day with NC because WaPo and it’s like runs an agenda. We all know that. I feel for you Yves but the site’s strength is bringing together all those speaking truth to power. The courts won’t care about that and that route can drain you personally and financially. Stay strong and play to your strengths. You have lots of support – perhaps more than you know.

  43. Kim Kaufman

    The Second Phase of the Propaganda Fake News War: Economic Strangulation. What Comes Next?
    by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

    “The public has determined that the corporate media is actually the purveyor of “fake news” and turned to media organizations, such as BAR, Truthout and other outlets for information.”

    http://blackagendareport.com/propaganda_fake_news_war

    McCarthy’s ghost smiles as Dems point the finger at Russia

    By Norman Solomon, contributor – 12/07/16 07:00 PM EST

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/309249-mccarthys-ghost-smiles-as-dems-point-the-finger-at-russia#.WEi4Q_2C5g0.facebook

  44. R. Post

    So, since the W.P. won’t bear responsibility for what they publish, maybe we should just lump them in with Breitbart and company. Just out of curiosity, did W.P. contact N.C. for comment before they tried to smear your (and, by extension, our) reputation?

    1. Propertius

      [M]aybe we should just lump them [WaPo] in with Breitbart and company.

      I already did. Now I lump them in with Alex Jones.

  45. marblex

    It’s libel per se and an avalanche of lawsuits directed at PropOrNot and WaPo should be pretty effective. Because WaPo did not retract there is no defense.

  46. ChrisAtRU

    From a legal point of view, I wonder how the Executive Editor’s (Marty Baron) tweeting of the article plays against the assertion that “The Post … does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings”. Is that a case where he was speaking (tweeting) his own opinion, and not necessarily that of his employer?

    #DisclaimersBeDamned

  47. ChrisPacific

    So if the WaPo doesn’t consider validity checking of sources to be part of its job, then that raises the obvious question in this case: WHY the (insert expletive of your choice) did they take this site with anonymous authors, sweeping allegations and no evidence of any kind, and choose to make a featured story out of it? There are hundreds or thousands of other sites just like it out there. Why PropOrNot, and not any of the others?

    In other words, if (as they claim) the story boils down to “some anonymous people on the Internet made some unsubstantiated claims which may or may not be accurate”, why did they decide it was newsworthy at all, let alone worthy of the kind of prominence they gave it?

  48. Read while you can

    As bad as the article about propornot is, it will get worse. Wapo is a partner of this dangerous group of “fake-news fighters”.

    https://firstdraftnews.com/about/

    What is the purpose of a company like Dataminr to participate in this network financed by google?

    Expect NC and other sites be buried on google page 2 and deeper. Not trending on twitter etc.

    https://firstdraftnews.com/latest/
    Funny enough not a single word about the wapo propornot article.

    Please tell me i am overstating the importance of this network.

  49. Spring Texan

    Very concerned about your health, Yves. Hope you can find a way to heal, rest, and enjoy in spite of all this, but can imagine it’s very difficult. Maybe you can find something so absorbing you just aren’t thinking about it (for some people that’s crosswords or something which I don’t understand, for me it’d be a video game — but something). And catch up on sleep when you can sleep!

  50. MED

    might look over HR 6393

    “http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-02/house-quietly-passes-bill-targeting-russian-propaganda-websites”

  51. Fiver

    Yves/Lambert,

    Am I the only one who remembered an “Andrew Watts” commenting on NC? And wasn’t Aug 21 the date ProporCrap started? And isn’t the exchange between ‘Andrew Watts’ and ‘timbers’ of interest given the WaPo reporter’s name is Timberg?

    Check out the comments from Aug 21 on NC:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/08/links-82116.html

    I also wonder if ‘Andrew Watts’ could be this guy:

    http://andrewwattsauthor.com/

    How hard would it be, really, for two or three people with some know-how to engage in discussion, get replies from comments, trace/track those people. Even one person hacked (and I’m virtually certain I was this summer) could provide a large number of sites visited or ‘linked’.

    And it seems to me as well I sent a story to Lambert (and I wrote to Lambert something like “You mean this isn’t real?”) that I took to be a real WaPo story re a major wrinkle in the Clinton scandals that was part of a story link I got from Global Research, a story which also had a paragraph referenced from Breibart which I didn’t notice until my comment wasn’t posted, so I went back and looked. I assumed the comment was rejected due to the Breibart (sp?) reference. But what if WaPo/Watts were fishing at NC and saw my follow-up comment to Lambert with only the WaPo link and my question (assuming it was posted, which I do not remember)?

    Anyway, I hope this might prove useful somehow.

    1. integer

      This needs to be looked at. I always sensed something off about Andrew Watts (the commenter) and I remember on the election day thread he posted a weird YouTube link to a song from a videogame called “Empire” or something that had a picture of an archetypal fat banker as the visual component.

    2. integer

      Look at this comment by Andrew Watts:

      Legitimate to whom exactly? Aww, forget it. Feel free to continue to shill for Damascus just don’t expect me to accept your point of view. After all a civil war is being waged to decide those questions of legitimacy.

      “Aww, forget it” seems very familiar, as it is the exact sort of language that propornot uses on their Twitter account.

    3. integer

      I might as well put it out there that surveillance drones (which I have never, ever, seen in my area) have been flying over my residence lately, they dug up the fibre optic cables on my street last night, and I have seen some very odd people around my house lately. Kinda funny because I think they thought that I too was a Russian agent. I’m just piecing info together, have a good memory, and know how to read people. I won’t go into more details and I think last night marked the end of me being under surveillance but it was very interesting. I actually went out and talked to one of the guys involved with the fibre optic cable stuff last night and we had a very interesting between the lines conversation.

      1. integer

        I have never met a council worker that spoke like the guy I talked to last night. Since high school, I have always had friends that are skilled tradesmen, some of who have done council infrastrucure work, and the guy I talked to just wasn’t one of them. In fact it was nice to talk to someone who knew how to speak metaphorically and understood what I was communicating in between the lines. I’m guessing there was tension between Aus. and US intelligence over this, the guy I talked to was definitely Australian.

      2. integer

        (which I have never, ever, seen in my area before)

        Anyway, no big deal and considering nobody I spend time with even knows how interested I am in all this stuff I will just be keeping it to myself after this, though I thought it was worth sharing with everyone here.

        1. integer

          Also, someone has been sending me emails (I have received two so far) that purport to come from a girl I know who lives in NZ but are clearly not from her. The emails ask me to look at a www3 link that has a dot ru domain and contains my real name. I haven’t clicked them, and will not be doing so in the future, but I assume someone was trying to prove that I am a Russian agent (hahaha) or trying to (further?) compromise my laptop. Anyway at least I haven’t been bored lately hahaha.

          Also, to Outis, I didn’t see an email from you so I’m assuming Yves didn’t find my email or she did but you decided not to email. Seeing as everyone else seems to know it if you just temporarily put my comments into moderation I will send it through in a comment. I could also send the url for the weird emails I’ve been getting if you guys want to see it. Just respond to this comment and let me know.

          1. integer

            …the url for from the weird emails I’ve been getting…

            Also, I’m guessing someone has been poking around in my facebook account, which I simply don’t use anymore but never deleted it.

          2. Outis Philalithopoulos

            Hi integer, I wasn’t sure if you were joking about wanting to get an email (and also a factor is that, as you can probably imagine, all of us have been pretty buried with the PropOrNot situation).

            I could temporarily throw all your comments into moderation, but there’s an easier way: Just post a comment mentioning the Weimar Republic and the Lumpenproletariat. That should automatically dump it into moderation, but if you want to be 100% sure, do a test run first and I’ll let you know that the scheme worked. Thanks for letting us know about the mysterious NZ/RU emails and definitely send the URL.

            1. integer

              My posts are disappearing and not going into moderation. Tried 3 times.

              I don’t particularly want an email, especially if it is just about politeness. I would like to know what Yves is seeing at her end though.

              I’ll just forward the NZ/RU email to Yves.

              1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                Sorry, the system worked but it didn’t throw your emails into moderation like I thought, it threw them into another folder. I can see all three of them now. Thanks, and if you’re good on the rest, then sounds fine to me.

          3. Oregoncharles

            ” purport to come from a girl I know who lives in NZ but are clearly not from her.”

            This is a common mode of spam. I don’t know how they capture people’s email accounts, but I’ve seen it a number of times. The link is probably just trying to sell you something, maybe porn or Russian women. You’re right not to go there, though, without some sort of protection. The people at NC might know how to do that safely. I think Lambert used to be a sys-op, IIRC. They’re slow to get to email when they’re busy, as they obviously are.

            1. integer

              Yeah you are probably correct, though the actual url that was linked to within the email contained my name. I wouldn’t have been particularly surprised if it had just been an email that said “Hey xxxxxxxxxxxx, check this out!”. Also, It made it past my spam filter which I have never seen happen before with any sort of sales garbage.

              1. hunkerdown

                It could be the old sort of malware that travels through email and self-propagates by way of one’s address book, or it could be spearphishing.

  52. kareninca

    I wonder if Snopes has asked to be removed from PropOrNot’s list of “related projects.”

    I contacted them to find out if they were going to ask themselves to be removed from that list, but I have not heard back from them. I guess we’ll find out something about their reputability.

  53. limani

    NC deserves a huge Wapo-logy to help compensate for your losses, pain & suffering, and exemplary damages, of course.

  54. cos67

    In the same way that other MSM fake stories are spread,
    the MSM has here a growing legion of useful idiots who
    are tripping over one another to become the List-Maker
    of Oligarchy. No need to mention that Google and Facebook
    are already part of the oligarchy, so this bullcrap fake-list
    will be lampooned by us, but swallowed wapophaggia style
    by our elites, to our detriment.
    I’m sure folks have seen warnings, in past years, about
    this or that blog. I have, anyway. That was training wheels
    compared to the coming “Elders’ List.”

  55. alex morfesis

    not 2 get 2 foily, but methinx there might be more a business issue 2 eliminate competition & 2 cover up at wapo 4 failed business model adjustments…Jarrod Dicker was brought in to “change” the future for wapo & he comes from rebelmouse, a company that has nicholas negroponte as an investor(johns bro)…first big burp was postpulse with Wells Fargo as the guinea pig…seems the clavis technology was also a bunch of vapor ware…Dicker and his RED is based out of nyc and there is plenty of pushback coming from failed media ad campaigns by major 1000 advertisers who got sold on web 2.0 and now on web 3.0/4.0 with hardly any easily tracked results better than just ye olde throw spaget on the wall and prey…rebelmouse has some very strange “partnerships” with providers of social media and facebooks “article” placement, if my quick read on what is being sold by rebelmouse is correct…

    http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/264936/wapo-launches-postpulse-ad-unit-integrating-editor.html

    Nielsen smoke and mirrors is being outed by quantcast and other such companies…

    the A-O useful idiot baderaboyz might be getting played by RED to help slow down or eliminate competition…

    http://streetfightmag.org/2016/01/04/washington-post-uses-its-journalism-to-breathe-new-life-into-display-ads/

    NC and some of the other refusnyx might be at an inflection point with major advertisers thinking about sending their advertising auction budgets to non dinosaur media enterprises

    good luck mrs phelps….

  56. integer

    Yes, not even close to being an acceptable response from Wapo, though my impression is that they are starting to realize they have bitten off more than they can chew. That in itself is progress imo.

  57. Joe

    It seems that 2016 will be remembered as the year US newspapers did a great job at destroying their own credibility.

    Not only should the Washington Post have retracted the article, but it should have disciplined Tilberg and his editors, possibly firing some or all of them.

    A few months ago, they were all shilling for Hillary. Today’s Wall Street Journal is serving as a mouthpiece for a torture proponent, http://www.wsj.com/articles/sorry-mad-dog-waterboarding-works-1481242339 . They serve their own advancement, and not the truth.

    But since readers find media alternatives, let’s just ban them instead!

    Yves you, and your collaborators, are doing great work. Keep it up, and please don’t let the plentiful supply of moochers or looters, rather than the truth, hurt your health. (Ayn Rand seems oddly appropriate in this context…)

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