It took several days but the pushback has begun against a secretive and sleazy organization that has smeared in excess of two-hundred alternative media sources as Russian propaganda outlets. The group, a murky operation that goes by the name PropOrNot appears to have the sanctioning of high ranking government officials given it’s placement in the Washington Post which serves as the preeminent propaganda organ of the warfare state.
The WAPO featured PropOrNot in a major Thanksgiving Day story by Craig Timberg that melded together the memes of “fake news” and Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s sinister American fifth column as well as provided anonymity to it’s “executive director” who claimed:
The way that this propaganda apparatus supported Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers. “It was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump’s campaign. .”.”. It worked.”
While those possessing a vested interest in a new Cold War with Russia and an overthrow of Putin praised and promoted The WAPO hit piece, it was soon exposed as the trashy advocacy for a totalitarian assault on free speech that it was. The first journalist to call bullshit was Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept who railed against the paper in his epic piece entitled “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden and Very Shady Group” in which he unloaded:
Even more disturbing than the Post’s shoddy journalism in this instance is the broader trend in which any wild conspiracy theory or McCarthyite attack is now permitted in U.S. discourse as long as it involves Russia and Putin — just as was true in the 1950s when stories of how the Russians were poisoning the U.S. water supply or infiltrating American institutions were commonplace. Any anti-Russia story was — and is — instantly vested with credibility, while anyone questioning its veracity or evidentiary basis is subject to attacks on their loyalties or, at best, vilified as “useful idiots.”
Greenwald’s blistering broadside against the WAPO and PropOrNot was the tip of the spear for a belated counterattack on the Democratic party, the Hillary Clinton campaign and the neocons (yes they’re still around) insidious war on dissent and the braying of conspiracy theories about a Russian hijacking of the U.S. political system. The Washington Post and it’s staff of neocon propagandists provided the loudest megaphone and aren’t taking Clinton’s loss and the preemption of their war with Russia very well, hence the escalation of slanderous and toxic rhetoric against the alternative media.
The Intercept article opened the floodgates with Rolling Stone magazine’s Matt Taibbi calling the WAPO smear campaign “shameful and disgusting” and in a story published Thursday by the New Yorker takes PropOrNot to task. The group had shopped the smear campaign to the magazine as well but unlike Pravda on the Potomac, the New Yorker wisely chose to pass on the big scoop.
I excerpt the following from Adrian Chen’s “The Propaganda About Russian Propaganda”:
The most striking issue is the overly broad criteria used to identify which outlets spread propaganda. According to PropOrNot’s recounting of its methodology, the third step it uses is to check if a site has a history of “generally echoing the Russian propaganda ‘line’,” which includes praise for Putin, Trump, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Iran, China, and “radical political parties in the US and Europe.” When not praising, Russian propaganda includes criticism of the United States, Barack Obama, Clinton, the European Union, Angela Merkel, nato, Ukraine, “Jewish people,” U.S. allies, the mainstream media, Democrats, and “the center-right or center-left, and moderates of all stripes.”
These criteria, of course, could include not only Russian state-controlled media organizations, such as Russia Today, but nearly every news outlet in the world, including the Post itself. Yet PropOrNot claims to be uninterested in differentiating between organizations that are explicit tools of the Russian state and so-called “useful idiots,” which echo Russian propaganda out of sincerely held beliefs. “We focus on behavior, not motivation,” they write.
That pretty much nails it. The real targets of this dastardly attempt to purge the country of views that run counter to those of the corrupt and deranged Washington establishment and the eternal wars which sustain it are not Putin puppets at all but rather critics of the morally reprehensible criminal globalist ruling elite.
As an occasional contributor to OpEdNews – which is on PropOrNot’s list – I can honestly say that I could give a tinker’s damn about Putin or Russia. What concerns me is the reckless endangerment of the lives of millions of human beings by the neocons and their liberal interventionist allies, it is these zealots who are hellbent at risking a nuclear confrontation in order to impose their messianic dogma of regime change upon the planet.
As a loyal American and a taxpayer who has my hard-earned money forcibly confiscated to underwrite these fiends and their murderous policies I feel that I am entitled to air my opinion and anyone who has a problem with that can go straight to Hell.
In addition to debunking the Washington Post’s story as the rancid, fascist red-baiting garbage that it is, a number of the websites that have been smeared as Russian water carriers are reportedly considering suing the bastards at PropOrNot.
According to US News and World Report “Publications Called Russian-Propaganda Distributors Consider Suing Anonymous ‘Experts'”:
Several American news outlets are considering legal action against the anonymous person or group that last week published a widely distributed list of alleged Russian propaganda outlets and “bona-fide ‘useful idiots'” of the Kremlin.
Online publications including the influential news-aggregating Drudge Report, the primary-source publisher WikiLeaks and news outlets of various leanings made “the list” hosted on the website PropOrNot.com.
The Washington Post leaned heavily on the anonymous group’s claims last week in an article reporting that “two teams of independent researchers” — including the Foreign Policy Research Institute and PropOrNot — had found a “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news'” ahead of the recent presidential election.
The Washington Post reported that the executive director of PropOrNot spoke with the paper “on the condition of anonymity to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”
For now, the identity of PropOrNot’s operator or operators remains stubbornly hidden, as the site is registered with Domains By Proxy, which allows for anonymity. Legal action might have better success at unmasking the individual or entity, which directs inquires to a Gmail email address and maintains accounts on Facebook, Twitter and reddit.
The US News piece cites a number of the accused foreign moles on the list published by PropOrNot and this author personally knows of at least one of the site proprietors from the blacklist who is considering legal action.
However, the greatest impediment to holding PropOrNot accountable for their lies and smears is the operation’s cloak of secrecy which at least for now, remains in place.
The greatest service to the projection of free speech and free association would be finding out exactly who these rats are and then publishing that information so that the parties who have had their reputations unjustly tarnished can seek the appropriate remedy through the courts. Not only can justice be served but there can also be some insight into who it is that is providing the funding to PropOrNot and whether that funding is coming from domestic or foreign sources. Nothing cleanses like sunlight and these vampires need to be rooted from their nests and dragged out into the open.
There are undoubtedly a good number of patriots out there who have good research and investigative skills which combined with Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) tools can peel away the layers of anonymity that PropOrNot has chosen to cower behind. Perhaps a number of those who have been targeted could even put together a crowd-sourcing campaign to raise the funds in order to hire professionals, it’s not like there is any shortage of private intelligence firms that would be up to the task for a price. Hey, it’s not like the bad guys aren’t outsourcing a good amount of their dirty work.
There have likely been laws violated by PropOrNot well in addition to the damage done to the reputations of legitimate alternative news sources on their blacklist because you know:
..the kind of folks who make propaganda for brutal authoritarian oligarchies are often involved in a wide range of bad business. We strongly suspect that some of the individuals involved have violated the Espionage Act, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, and other related laws, but determining that is up to the FBI and the DOJ.
That’s straight from the horse’s mouth and they should know because it applies to them as well.
It’s time to hunt the witch hunters and roll back the rising tide of fascism that is threatening to end press freedom as we know it.
Originally published at OpEdNews