By Donn Marten
The existence of the dangerous, anti-American organization PropOrNot and it’s list of 200+ alternative news websites that have been labeled as Russian propaganda fronts would be relatively minimal if not for the Washington Post. When one of the nation’s leading newspapers promotes calls for government prosecution against non-establishment journalists it goes from being a news organization to something completely different.
Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels elocuting
(image by Holocaust History Museum) License DMCA Details
It has now been nearly a week since the Washington Post put it’s seal of approval on a secretive and sleazy group that has smeared over 200 alternative media websites as Russian propaganda fronts. There is still little known about the neo-McCarthyist website PropOrNot and most importantly who exactly is funding it.
The WAPO’s lips are certainly sealed because according to published accounts by those researching it, both the paper as well as “reporter” Craig Timberg aren’t divulging anything on this blast furnace hot story that seeks to portray loyal Americans as traitors. Considering the grave charges put forth in the lurid tale of Kremlin sponsored “fake news” one might think that the least the WAPO could do is to run a follow-up with details about PropOrNot as well as an explanation of just what the criteria is for landing on it’s burgeoning blacklist.
The longer the Post holds out the more that the paper itself’s motives should be called into question. It’s well-documented that the Editorial Board under the lamentable stewardship of Fred Hiatt is the foremost shill for war and regime change that currently exists in America. The WAPO regularly promotes the fever dreams of a bloodthirsty neocon-neoliberal alliance that has little use for peace let alone traditional American values but the Timberg piece is so reprehensible that it more fittingly belongs in another era as well as a country steeped in a cruel authoritarianism enabled by propaganda.
Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald launched a blistering salvo against the WAPO and it’s role in promoting the new plague of neo-McCarthyism that is being championed by a disgraced and discredited media. His pushing back against this vile travesty was published by The Intercept and is entitled “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden and Very Shady Group” and it’s a doozy.
A few excerpts from Greenwald’s piece:
One of the core functions of PropOrNot appears to be its compilation of a lengthy blacklist of news and political websites that it smears as peddlers of “Russian propaganda.” Included on this blacklist of supposed propaganda outlets are prominent independent left-wing news sites such as Truthout, Naked Capitalism, Black Agenda Report, Consortium News, and Truthdig.
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. Far-right, virulently anti-Muslim blogs such as Bare Naked Islam are likewise dubbed Kremlin mouthpieces. Basically, everyone who isn’t comfortably within the centrist Hillary Clinton/Jeb Bush spectrum is guilty. On its Twitter account, the group announced a new “plugin” that automatically alerts the user that a visited website has been designated by the group to be a Russian propaganda outlet.
While blacklisting left-wing and libertarian journalists, PropOrNot also denies being McCarthyite. Yet it simultaneously calls for the U.S. government to use the FBI and DOJ to carry out “formal investigations” of these accused websites, “because the kind of folks who make propaganda for brutal authoritarian oligarchies are often involved in a wide range of bad business.” The shadowy group even goes so far as to claim that people involved in the blacklisted websites may “have violated the Espionage Act, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, and other related laws.”
In sum: They’re not McCarthyite; perish the thought. They just want multiple U.S. media outlets investigated by the FBI for espionage on behalf of Russia.
Greenwald not only takes a meat axe to the WAPO (which never bothered responding to his requests for comment) but mocks and ridicules PropOrNot as “amateurish” and “laughable” although while excoriating both the paper and the website he misses a critical point in that this is a serious if not existential threat to the alternative media. Mr. Greenwald grabbed his Pulitizer and retreated to First Look Media – a venture of the billionaire Pierre Omidyar, a man who has been known to have his foot in the same camp as the regime changers – and it’s not his site that has made the blacklist.
He also minimizes the very serious danger of PropOrNot which while it may indeed be sloppily constructed (possibly a ruse) it is being funded by some very serious people who are looking to permanently shut down dissent to a power structure that has been driven into a maniacal rage over Hillary Clinton’s election loss. It’s not Greenwald who the growing number of social media followers that PropOrNot will be targeting it’s those at OpEdNews and the other sites on an enemies list that will surely be expanded.
To this particular author the entire thing doesn’t pass the smell test and practically screams of a private intelligence operation that is either being subsidized by or has been created by Deep State elements of the type who were counting on jobs within Hillary’s war cabinet. Despite Greenwald’s scorn, this is a very organized and well-funded operation that exists as a parallel to the widely promoted hysteria over “fake news” that has taken root since Donald Trump’s election.
While the majority of mainstream news outlets might be uncomfortable with going the full McCarthy and engaging in shrill and vitriolic red-baiting that is just the way that the roll at the Washington Post. It is a roiling spring of neocon filth, war promoting lies and hate-mongering that has no equal in the so-called legitimate press.
These days the WAPO bears more than a passing resemblance to Nazi fiend Julius Streicher’s infamous Der Sturmer than the paper that at one time was held up as the finest bastion in American journalism when the Woodward and Bernstein’s Watergate coverage brought down Richard M. Nixon. But in 2016 the WAPO is still living off of it’s laurels and Woodward has become a bloated caricature of a power-suckler more befitting of a minor role in “House of Cards” than anything remotely resembling a journalist.
Whatever it is what PropOrNot actually is outside of a dangerous threat to free speech it would not be a magnet for those seeking to silence critical voices of the Clinton restoration and our monstrous and immoral foreign policy it would only be another obscure hate group without the treatment bestowed upon it by the Washington Post.
Even Joseph Goebbels himself would marvel at what the WAPO has become.
Donn Marten is a free lance writer and consultant who resides in West Central Florida.